Research presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium has shown that relatively modest weight loss may significantly reduce the chances of developing breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
The study, led by Professor Rowan Chlebowski, of the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research at City of Hope in California analysed data from over 60,000 women and found that over the course of 11-12 years, 3000 developed invasive breast cancer.
When compared to women with a stable body weight, those who had a 5% or more decrease in weight were found to be 12% less likely to develop breast cancer. When weight loss was 15% or more, a 37% reduction in breast cancer likelihood was found.
"In the three-year window of the study, relatively modest weight loss was associated with significant lowering of breast cancer incidence,” Professor Chlebowski said. "From this study, we have evidence that a weight loss strategy can be effective in lowering breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women."
It is important to note that a weight gain of 5% was not directly linked with a greater overall breast cancer risk; however it was associated with a greater than 50% risk of triple negative breast cancer.