Lower Breast Cancer Risk with Weight Loss After 50

Weight loss after the age of 50 can become increasingly challenging, particularly for women once they have made their way through menopause.  That said, despite the challenge, it is worth a woman’s while to make the effort to lose even a modest amount of weight if she is overweight or obese.

Why Take on the Battle with Weight Loss After 50?

There are many reasons to stand up to the challenges of weight loss after 50 years of age.  They can include improving heart health, cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes and many other chronic and dangerous health issues.  That said, new research has shown that there is another very appealing reason to take on this effort.

A new large study showed that losing as little as four pounds of excess body fat can be highly beneficial to post-menopausal women.  Even that small amount of weight – if kept off – can decrease the risk of developing breast cancer.

What Did the Research Say?

The research findings about weight loss after 50 were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).  It represents the first-time solid evidence has revealed that breast cancer risk can be reversed by a moderate amount of fat loss.  This is important as doctors have long known that obesity raises a woman’s risk of the disease, however proof has not been available to show that working to lose the weight can then reduce that risk.

It represents the first-time solid evidence has revealed that breast cancer risk can be reversed by a moderate amount of fat loss.

“What we found was that indeed, women who lost weight and kept it off had a lower risk of breast cancer than women who stayed the same weight,” explained Lauren Teras, American Cancer Society scientific director for epidemiology research and lead author of the study.

Weight Loss After 50 Could Positively Impact US Breast Cancer Figures

If these findings are put into practice in a broad public health sense, it could help to reduce breast cancer risk overall in the United States. As 2 out of every 3 adult women in the country are estimated to be overweight or obese, this means that millions of women could be reducing their risk with even a moderate amount of body mass reduction.

If postmenopausal overweight and obese women are directed to focus on weight loss after 50, it may help to reduce the breast cancer risk in a portion of the population where the risk is highest.

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