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Weight Loss and Breast Cancer

A new clinical study has found that even a modest weight loss is associated with a reduction in the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer. Dr. JoAnn Manson at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston found that women who had achieved a weight loss of at least 5% of their body weight had a statistically significant 12% reduction in their risk for developing postmenopausal breast cancer. While excessive weight is associated with a number of different types of cancer, cancer of the breast and uterus in obese women is an especially frustrating and difficult situation since a small amount of weight loss (5%-10%) has been shown to reduce such cancer risks. Wight loss has also been shown to dramatically reduce the risks for many other chronic, costly and disabling diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease and osteoarthritis. Dr.Manson suggests that in terms of guidance for patients, it's certainly important to promote and encourage healthy lifestyle practices to achieve weight loss, such as reducing portion sizes, avoiding emotional eating, decreasing alcohol intake and increasing regular physical activity. Any breast mass, lump or nodule should always be evaluated by a competent health care professional, and when in doubt-biopsy.

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