At the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Pamela Goodwin of the University of Toronto reported that blood insulin levels determine whether breast cancer will return to kill women who were treated for that disease. This would explain why obese women are at increased risk for breast cancer.

Most overweight women in North American have very high blood levels of insulin because their cells fail to respond to insulin, causing their pancreas to release large amounts. Insulin make you hungry and fat and it can also cause breast cells to grow and become cancerous. Since one in seven women who live to ninety will develop breast cancer, all women should try to lower high insulin levels. Women with a family history of diabetes, and those who store fat primarily in their bellies, those with acne and excess hair on their bodies are ones most likely to have high insulin levels.

All lifestyle measures to lower insulin levels are healthful, and they can help prolong a woman's life by more than just preventing breast cancer. High insulin levels are caused by high blood sugar levels after meals. You lower insulin levels by losing weight, restricting refined carbohydrates such as sugar, bakery products and pastas and exercising.

Exercise lowers insulin levels because sugar goes from your intestines into the blood and then need insulin, unless it can be stored in empty liver and muscle cells. You empty liver and muscle cells by exercising.

Your doctor may prescribe Glucophage to help you lose weight so you will not produce as much insulin.

Reported 6/5/00; checked 9/3/05

Get our newsletter