Could weight loss lower the risk of breast cancer?

(CBS News) — A woman’s chance of breast cancer increases with age, but a new study suggests there are steps women can take to help lower their risk. The study, published in the journal Cancer, found that women who lost weight after menopause were less likely to develop invasive breast cancer than those who maintained or gained weight.

“The women [in the study] who lost 5 percent of body weight over just a three-year period ended up having a 12 percent statistically significant reduction in breast cancer incidence,” study author Dr. Rowan Chlebowski from City of Hope National Medical Center told CBS News. The study included more than 60,000 women.

Chlebowski says that prior to this study it had been known that obesity is a risk factor for older women developing breast cancer. However, it hadn’t been established if losing weight could affect risk.

About a third of postmenopausal women in the U.S. are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (…)

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