When it comes to health-related content, weight loss is a reliable topic. There are almost always a slew of articles related to the health risks associated with extended weight gain, or how best to slim down for the summer sunbathing season.
But what if an additional few pounds lowers your risk of cancer?
A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that women who gain weight in their early adulthood have less of a chance of developing breast cancer before they reach menopause. Breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer diagnosed in women.
By comparing the data from the number of women who developed breast cancer before menopause against the amount of weight that the women gained, researchers learned that gaining around 20 pounds or more of weight from early adulthood resulted in women having a lower chance of developing breast cancer before they reached menopause.
At the same time, however, women who gained weight after the age of 35 to 44 years were not more or less likely to develop breast cancer before menopause. Potentially, this may indicate that a woman’s increased exposure to weight gain has an important association with breast cancer risk — but the precise cause and effect remains unknown.
Consequently, it’s important to remember that the “protective” influence of a higher weight is neutralized once the individual reaches menopause. Then, a heavier weight indicates a higher risk for breast cancer. Nonetheless, shedding light on the biological mechanisms behind the relationship between weight and breast cancer risk carries the potential to help better understand preventive care for the disease.