Overweight and obese women — defined as having a BMI (body mass index) over 25 — have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who maintain a healthy weight, especially after menopause. Being overweight can also increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who have had the disease.
Because fat cells make estrogen, the risk is increased; extra fat cells mean more estrogen in the body, and estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers develop and grow. However, the link between extra weight and breast cancer is complicated and affected by other factors as well. For example, the location of the extra weight matters. Extra fat around your belly may increase risk more than the same amount of extra fat around your thighs or hips.
There’s no magic bullet or single food that will make you lose weight quickly or keep you from getting breast cancer, but here are some tips to make your diet nutritious and help you lose weight:
- Limit sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol.
- Eat small portions (no more than 6 to 7 ounces a day) of lean meat or poultry.
- Remove the skin and fat from meat, poultry, and fish.
- Cover your plate with fresh, nutrient-dense foods. Fill two-thirds of your plate with fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and one-third or less with meat and dairy products.
- Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day and 3 ounces or more of whole grains. You will feel full longer and may be less tempted by junk food.
- Choose non-fat milk and dairy products.
- Go for variety. Buy a new fruit, vegetable, or whole-grain product each time you shop for groceries to keep from getting bored with your diet.
- Drink water or drinks with no sugar added if you’re hungry between meals. Avoid soda, lemonade, sweetened iced tea, and juices.
- Limit heavily salted, smoked, or pickled foods. They tend to have a lot of salt and nitrates.
Read more online about obesity and breast cancer risk at: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/obesity-fact-sheet
If you are considering weight-loss surgery in the Las Vegas area, contact Dr. Heidi Ryan to discuss the perfect treatment for your situation. Dr. Ryan is the first and only female bariatric surgeon in Las Vegas.