A new study has challenged the ill-effects of obesity, as a causative factor for breast cancer. It is well known that being overweight is a major risk factor for cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Scientists have found that obesity may help in protecting younger women from breast cancer.
Latest research has indicated that having a higher Body Mass Index results in reduced levels of female hormones, the presence of which elevates the risk of breast cancer, in pre-menopausal women. Nearly 80% of breast cancers occur in post-menopausal women, and in this case obesity is a definite risk factor for cancer.
The researchers found that a high BMI could result in irregular or lengthy menstrual cycles. It could also cause gynecological problems and the reduction in the levels of the female hormones that are associated with the development of breast cancer. The lowered levels of female hormones may be the reason behind reduction in breast cancer risk for the younger women.
Dr Sarah Cant, senior policy and information officer for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said, "Breast cancer in young women is rare and being overweight increases the chance of developing many other diseases like heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. Also, being overweight will increase your risk of breast cancer once you have reached the menopause."