Obe­sity link to breast can­cer


WOMEN aged in their 30s who have big waist­lines have a much higher risk of get­ting breast can­cer in later life, a South Aus­tralian study has found.

The Flin­ders Univer­sity re­search has dis­cov­ered hav­ing a body mass in­dex (BMI) of 30 or more when aged 30-40 triples the chance of women get­ting the dis­ease.

The study asked 315 women, aged 45 to 64, to es­ti­mate their weight at 10-year in­cre­ments from the age of 18.

Flin­ders Univer­sity re­searcher Dr Emma Miller said weight was an im­por­tant fac­tor in re­duc­ing the risk of breast can­cer.

“While women with breast can­cer tended to have a higher BMI across all of their life, rel­a­tive to women with­out can­cer, be­ing obese un­der 40 years of age sig­nif­i­cantly pre­dicted breast can­cer in later life,” Dr Miller said.

“Women with breast can­cer were 3½ times more likely to have been obese when aged un­der 40 years than women with­out breast can­cer.”

While stud­ies have pre­vi­ously linked obe­sity as a risk fac­tor, it is the first time Aus­tralian re­search has pin­pointed the age range in which obe­sity could con­trib­ute to fu­ture breast can­cer di­ag­no­sis.

Stylist Jenni Eyles, 47, pic­tured, shed 30kg and be­gan reg­u­lar ex­er­cise after be­ing di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer six years ago this month.

The curvy life­style blog­ger from Ful­ham, who is now in re­mis­sion, said she was eat­ing bet­ter, ex­er­cis­ing and be­ing more mind­ful of her men­tal health and work/life bal­ance.

“I’m much more aware of what I’m putting in my body, how I treat my body and how I bal­ance my life,” said Ms Eyles, a Hospi­tal Re­search Foun­da­tion am­bas­sador.

Hospi­tal Re­search Foun­da­tion breast can­cer re­searcher As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Wendy Ing­man said re­duc­ing risk fac­tors through a healthy life­style was an im­por­tant part of tack­ling the dis­ease.

She said in­creas­ing breast can­cer aware­ness for all women, as well as get­ting a free breast screen­ing ev­ery two years from the age of 50 to 69, was also vi­tal.

RED CAR­PET: Ja­son Isaacs, Nazanin Bo­niadi and An­thony Maras, and right, Tilda Cob­ham-Her­vey.

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