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This report has been updated with #1320.

How do you interpret recent research showing that taking estrogen after menopause does not increase breast cancer risk in obese women? You should not think that being overweight prevents breast cancer. It doesn't. In fact, obese women are at increased risk for suffering breast cancer. At the menopause, the ovaries stop making the female hormone, estrogen, and fat cells become a major source of that hormone. Obese women have more fat cells and therefore have higher blood levels of estrogen, which increase risk for breast cancer. They also have higher levels of insulin-like growth factor that increases breast cancer risk.

Taking estrogen lowers insulin-like growth factor to decrease risk. If you are menopausal and overweight, try to lose weight by cutting out all refined carbohydrates in bakery products, pastas, and sugar-added foods. Avoid fruit juices and eat fruits and root vegetables only with meals. Start a controlled exercise program in which you keep moving for 30 minutes at least three time a week.

C Campagnoli, N Biglia, C Cantamessa, L Lesca, P Sismondi. HRT and breast cancer risk: a clue for interpreting the available data. Maturitas, 1999, Vol 33, Iss 3, pp 185-190.

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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