Weight loss reduces hormone levels linked to breast cancer risk

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports that “losing as little as 5% of one’s body weight – 10 pounds for a 200-pound woman – drives down levels of estrogen and other hormones that raise breast cancer risk,” according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers found that “the more weight a woman lost, the greater the reduction in hormones linked to breast cancer risk.” Although “many studies have linked obesity to breast cancer, this is the first to show that losing weight will drive down that risk.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, “The women with the best outcome ate more fruits, vegetables and fiber, reduced fat intake and added regular exercise into their lives. After losing the weight, the women’s estrogen levels were up to 25 percent lower and testosterone levels were 15.6 percent lower.”

On its website, ABC News reports, “Dr. Anne McTiernan, director of the Prevention Center at Fred Hutchinson in Seattle, Wash., and author of the study, said that postmenopausal women who reduce their weight moderately through diet and exercise can lower the amount of these hormones circulating through their bodies, which can in turn decrease their risk of developing breast cancer.”

HealthDay reports that, according to Dr. McTiernan, “Weight loss represents an additional option for long-term breast cancer risk reduction without significant or bothersome side effects.”

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