Monday, October 22, 2007

Weight gain over adult life increases women's risk of breast cancer

PUTTING on weight throughout adulthood can increase a woman's risk of breast cancer in middle age, according to new research.
Obesity was already known to be associated with post-menopausal breast cancer.

But new findings published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, link the risk of developing the disease after the menopause with weight gain from the age of 18.
The pattern was seen in women who did not take hormone replacement therapy, which is known to increase the risk.
Scientists in the US studied data from 99,039 post-menopausal women beginning in 1996.
A total of 2,111 of the women developed breast cancer in 2000.
Women who were not overweight or obese at 18, but were by the ages of 35 and 50, had a 1.4 times increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Losing weight appeared to protect against the disease. Women who lost weight had the same risk as those whose weight remained stable.
The scientists wrote: "These findings may reinforce public health recommendations for the maintenance of a healthy weight throughout adulthood as a means of breast cancer prevention."
• A new kind of sun protection ointment made from broccoli juice can marshal the body's defences against harmful ultraviolet rays, research in the US suggests.
In early tests on six human volunteers exposed to pulses of UV radiation, the extract reduced sunburn symptoms by up to 78 per cent. Conventional sunscreens used in the same experiments were ineffective.

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