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.