Weighing the odds: How obesity elevates breast cancer risk

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breast-cancer-risk-increased-by-obesity(NaturalHealth365)  Women who struggle with obesity are at higher risk for breast cancer, and a look at hormones like estrogen and androgen is providing some possible explanations.  A recent study in Science Translational Medicine found some important insights.

Research shows that obesity, defined by a body mass index (BMI) of ≥30, is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women carrying a BRCA mutation.

Let’s dive into the study findings and explore how inflammation increases breast cancer risks.

BMI, DNA damage, and breast cancer risk in BRCA mutation carriers

The above-referenced study found a positive correlation between BMI and DNA damage in the normal breast epithelia of BRCA mutation carriers.  BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2) are genes responsible for generating proteins essential in the repair of damaged DNA.  Each individual possesses two copies of these genes – one inherited from each parent.  Referred to as tumor suppressor genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 can lead to cancer development when subjected to specific alterations known as harmful variants or mutations.

Additionally, RNA sequencing revealed obesity-related changes in the breast adipose microenvironment, including the activation of estrogen biosynthesis, affecting neighboring breast epithelial cells.

Furthermore, experiments on breast tissue explants from BRCA mutation carriers demonstrated that blocking estrogen biosynthesis or estrogen receptor activity reduced DNA damage.  Factors associated with obesity, such as leptin and insulin, increased DNA damage, and inhibiting their signaling decreased DNA damage.

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Breast cancer worsens with inflammation and androgen production

The root causes of breast cancer can vary based on an individual’s health condition, with factors such as high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and chronic low-grade inflammation playing significant roles.

Individuals grappling with obesity often exhibit elevated levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6), a cytokine associated with heightened inflammation.  Research indicates that administering IL-6 to individuals with breast cancer can activate androgen receptors.

Obesity fosters an environment of increased inflammation, leading to elevated IL-6 levels.  This heightened inflammation, in turn, sensitizes androgen receptors, intensifying signals that fuel the growth and spread of breast cancer – this phenomenon occurs even in environments with low estrogen.

Diet and exercise are crucial to avoiding cancer

Safeguarding your health through maintaining a healthy weight is pivotal in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.  An integral aspect of adopting an anticancer lifestyle involves prioritizing a diet that is not only free from sugar and processed foods but also rich in organic, nutritious elements that support overall well-being.

Incorporating regular aerobic exercise and strength training into your routine further fortifies this health-conscious approach.  A noteworthy revelation from a comprehensive meta-analysis involving a staggering 1.44 million participants underscores the substantial benefits of regular exercise.  Engaging in consistent physical activity has been associated with a decreased risk of developing 13 types of cancer.

What’s truly remarkable is that dedicating just 20 minutes to brisk walking each day can significantly and positively impact your overall health.  This simple yet powerful commitment can contribute to your well-being and act as a preventive measure against various health challenges, including breast cancer.

Bottom line: Take good care of yourself because you deserve the best life possible.  Start today.

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