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"Does Weight And BMI Affect Breast Cancer? The Role Of Belly Fat" -Linda Carroll

  • Today
  • New York, NY
  • (December 26, 2018)

For decades, experts have warned middle aged women that being overweight or obese could raise the risk of breast cancer. A healthy body mass index was thought to reduce that risk factor, but a recent study shows it’s not so simple and that postmenopausal women who have belly fat, despite having a “normal” BMI, may be at increased risk for developing breast cancer. That study, which included only women with normal BMIs, found those with the highest levels of fat in the truncal area had nearly twice the risk of developing invasive breast cancer compared to those with the least amount of fat. Researchers have known for decades that obesity is a risk factors for breast cancer and for having a poor prognosis, said Dr. Charles Shapiro, professor of medicine and director of Translational Breast Cancer Research and director of Cancer Survivorship at the Mount Sinai Health System, who was not involved in the new study. “This study provides a new wrinkle,” he added. “It stands to reason that it would be true that if you have more fat, despite being normal weight, you would have a higher risk of breast cancer.”

— Charles L. Shapiro, MD, Director, Cancer Survivorship, Translational Breast Cancer Research, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Professor, Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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