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Gaining, Losing Weight at Menopause Affects Breast Cancer Risk


New information from the Nurses Health Study indicates that women who gain weight before menopause may have an increased risk of breast cancer, while women who lose weight after menopause may decrease their risk.

The research looked at 87,000 women for 26 years, examining weight changes and incidence of breast cancer. Results showed that women who gained 55 pounds or more after age 18 had nearly 1 ½ times the risk of breast cancer compared with women who kept their weight steady. Women who gained 22 pounds after menopause had an 18 percent increase in cancer. But losing 22 pounds after menopause decreased the risk by 57 percent.

Journal of the American Medical Association, 12 July 2006
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