Healthy Weight and Breast Cancer 

-I've always been able to stay at what I considered to be a healthy weight

 Breast Cancer still managed to track me down though.

-Reading studies from the American Medical Association, and Breast Cancer research articles has never exactly been my cup of tea however.

 I'm a somewhat petite gal, 5' tall and 142 pounds, but it turned out I was overweight -and by nearly 20 pounds! (I thought I looked pretty good)

-Was the added weight the deciding risk factor in developing Breast Cancer for me? Who knows, but I do know that if I'd known then, what I know now, I certainly would have tried to lose that 20 pounds.

Of all the risk factors for breast cancer, healthy weight is probably one of the few things I can do something about.

-Now I do read a lot more about it, and I try to pass it along.

-Here's some of what I've learned about a woman's healthy weight and the  risks for breast cancer. Share it with those close to you.


   Healthy Weight and Breast Cancer Risk

 The amount of weight a woman gains after the age of 18 can give a strong indication as to her risk of developing breast cancer later in life, according to new research released by the American Cancer Society.

-In one of the largest studies of healthy weight and breast cancer to date, researchers found that older women, who gained 20 to 30 pounds after high school graduation, (like me) were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than women who managed to maintain a healthy weight.

 Breast cancer risk factor was doubled, if a woman gained more than 70 pounds, said Heather Spencer Feigelson, senior epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society.


"The breast cancer risk factor is strongly dependent on body weight," Feigelson said. "Even modest amounts of weight gain can lead to a significantly increased risk factor for breast cancer."


 Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, President of the American Cancer Society, explains that the best way to reduce Breast cancer risk is by maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active on a consistent basis.

-One third of all cancer deaths could be prevented through healthy eating, an increase in physical activity and better lifestyle choices.

 A few hours of walking, or participating in other forms of exercise each week will definitely help, but even simple physical activities like going for a short walk, gardening or even just working around the yard -can still be of significant value in reducing the breast cancer risk factor.


-The American Cancer Society estimates that weight gain contributes from between a third and one-half of all breast cancer deaths among older women.


 Knowing your BMI number may help in shedding a few pounds and reducing your Breast Cancer Risk Factor.

-Fatty tissue makes estrogen; weight gain and estrogen can help breast cancer grow. Excess weight is also the second leading cause of all cancers, according to research published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 "The more fat you have (fat cells are capable of synthesizing estrogen) the heavier you are, and the higher your estrogen level becomes," said Dr. Paul Tartter, associate professor of surgery at Columbia University.

"There's no question that estrogen and weight gain are the common denominators for most of our risk factors for breast cancer."


    Healthy Weight - Where To Start?

 Many leading nutritionists suggest this healthy eating tip: Being aware of your portion size. Over the years, portions have gotten out of control in many restaurants, and it's getting harder and harder to achieve a healthy weight these days. Just look at the obesity rates in America!

-It is especially important to be careful not to overeat when you're out with friends and family. Because you do tend to let yourself get away with eating a little extra during those times … you wouldn't want to be embarrassed by being careful now would you?

 Don't be that way! A little embarrassment is definitely preferable to breast cancer! Not to mention, a healthy weight looks great on you!

-Here's another healthy eating tip: when you order food at a restaurant, ask the waiter to packup half of the portion for you to take home. (They won't mind) And it can be a huge help in reaching your healthy weight!


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   Smaller Meals?

 Many doctors and nutritionists recommend eating several smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals, just one of many healthy eating ideas you could try.

-By eating smaller meals, you will be able to digest your food better and also control your portions in an easier, more practical way.

 This strategy can help you maintain a healthy weight for the purpose of reducing your risk factor for Breast Cancer, and maintaining your general overall health and appearance as well, ...truly a win-win!


 How can I support breast cancer?           Also see: bcsupport.org


-You can access more information on how to maintain a healthy weight by visiting: http://cancer.org/eatright. You can also call 1 800 ACS-2345, to get more information on physical activity and nutrition.

-It's clear ....A healthy weight, and breast cancer -just don't mix!



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