We often overlook the association between obesity and cancer

Breast cancer and obesity are strongly associated, especially in postmenopausal women, as well as other types of cancers. People with obesity are at increased risk of developing several cancer types, including adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and renal cell cancer,Obesity is strongly associated with breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women, as well as other types of cancers.

People with obesity are at increased risk of developing several cancer types, including adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, renal cell, liver, gallbladder, prostate, and pancreatic cancers are all related to obesity.

Doctor wearing a breast cancer ribbon

The driving force between breast cancer and obesity seems to be insulin resistance (IR).

IR develops as a metabolic adjustment to increased levels of circulating free fatty acids, released from visceral adipose fat. In turn, IR produces increased insulin secretion, and this chronic hyperinsulinemia can increase the risk of cancers, especially colon and endometrial.  

The bottom line is that eating a healthy diet and getting more physical activity can help prevent obesity.

Here are 5 ways to reverse obesity and in turn lower your risk for cancer:

Woman holding a pink ribbon as an awareness of Breast Cancer
  1. Consume less “bad” fats and more “good” fats
  2. Consume less processed/boxed/canned/bagged/shelved and sugary foods
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  4. Eat plenty of dietary fiber, if not in your food, in a supplement
  5. Focus on eating foods low on the glycemic index

When we treat our patients we make tools, readily available, that can help you create a perfectly balanced, dietary lifestyle for you. Refer to this page as a guide.

This is a recommended meal plan for pre and post-surgery but is also good to continue for maximum benefits and balanced calories and nutrients.

Exercising and Breast Cancer Prevention

Exercising is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and has been linked to lower levels of circulating hormones, which can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Exercise also helps strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation, which can help protect against cancer.

Sourced Supplements for Breast Cancer Prevention

daily dose of supplements

Supplements can be beneficial for people at risk of developing breast cancer, as well as for those who have already been diagnosed. Supplements like Vitamin D, green tea extract, and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, support immune health, and reduce oxidative stress. Supplements can also help reduce the risk of recurrence in people who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer, as they can help reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers.

If you want to take care of your obesity once and for all, call our office to schedule your free consultation.

Understanding the Mechanisms Behind the Obesity-Breast Cancer Link

While the exact reasons are still being explored, research suggests several potential mechanisms linking obesity to an increased risk of breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women:

  • Increased Estrogen Levels: Excess fat tissue can act as an additional source of estrogen production in the body. Chronically elevated estrogen levels can promote the growth of some breast cancers.
  • Chronic Inflammation: Obesity is linked to chronic, low-grade inflammation, which can damage cells and contribute to tumor development.
  • Insulin Resistance: As mentioned earlier, obesity can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where cells become less responsive to insulin, a hormone regulating blood sugar. Insulin can further stimulate the growth of some breast cancer cells.

It’s important to note that obesity is a risk factor, not a guaranteed cause of breast cancer. However, maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce your risk.

Additional Considerations for Breast Cancer Prevention

Here are some additional points to consider for overall breast cancer prevention:

  • Family History: If you have a close family member with breast cancer, talk to your doctor about additional screening recommendations.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Limiting alcohol intake can help reduce breast cancer risk.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Discuss the potential benefits and risks of HRT with your doctor, especially if you’re considering it for postmenopausal symptoms.
  • Regular Breast Cancer Screenings: Schedule regular mammograms and clinical breast exams according to your doctor’s recommendations.

RELATED: Is the Orbera Balloon Procedure Right For You?

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Independence – Near Centerpoint Hospital: 19101 B Valley View Parkway, Independence, MO 64055 – Directly across the street from Costco
Lee’s Summit – Lee’s Summit Medical Center: 2100 SE Blue Pkwy, Suite 120, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Kansas City – St. Joseph Medical Center: 1000 Carondelet Drive, Suite 203B, Kansas City, MO 64114

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