According to the Endocrine Society, women who are overweight or obese from the age of 18 years old or later have an increased risk of getting estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. This is due to the fact that women who weigh more tend to carry higher levels of estrogen. This is one more reason that women should consider maintaining a normal weight as a health priority.
The National Cancer Institute explains that one of the important roles of estrogen is called cell proliferation. This is when a female’s body increases cell production to prepare the body for potential pregnancy during ovulation when estrogen is at its highest level. Cells divide and multiply, creating DNA in symmetry just like a child cutting a folded piece of paper into a snowflake.
Unfortunately, cells don’t always create the identical pattern you would when cutting a piece of perfectly folded paper. These unsymmetrical flaws create damaged DNA mutations, and damaged DNA mutations have the ability to become growths, like cancerous tumors, when estrogen aids in the continued reproduction of these abnormal cells. When you are overweight or obese and carry higher estrogen levels this means there is a higher opportunity for these damaged cells to turn into cancer, because the extra amount of estrogen you are already carrying is multiplying at a higher rate.
Damaged DNA mutations can be based on genetic history, but this not always the case. Sometimes mistakes occur naturally in the process, putting everyone at risk. So the only way to guarantee a decrease in your risk of getting breast cancer is to maintain a healthy weight.
Health Day and the Endocrine Society report that if you are overweight at 18 years old or at any later age, this can have a lasting effect on the likelihood of breast cancer at any age. So it is important to start making healthy food choices and getting plenty of exercise throughout your lifetime. This doesn’t mean that changing your eating and exercise patterns later in life won’t decrease your chances, but it does mean that the sooner you begin taking the simple prevention methods the better off you will be.
Once again, we are given evidence as to how important it is to maintain proper nutrition and exercise. What we take into our bodies reflects how our bodies react on the inside just as much as it affects how we appear on the outside. So instead of trying to reach a certain weight to fit into a string bikini or little black dress, think about protecting your total body health from the inside out.
The next time you rush through the drive thru to grab a cheeseburger or pick out processed food at the grocery store, think about how the chemicals you consider ingesting will affect the natural chemical process in your body beyond your waist line.
Is the convenience now really worth the consequences later?
If you take simple, measured steps now to prevent serious illness in the future you will save money, increase your livelihood and the amount of time you have to enjoy it.
Endocrine Society- http://www.endo-society.org/endo_news/2008/upload/27_40.pdf
National Cancer Institute- http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understandingcancer/estrogenreceptors