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Diabetes, Obesity And Breast Cancer Risk

By Expert HERWriter
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The 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is sponsored every year by the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Research presented often focuses on the prevention of breast cancer instead of honing in on the different types of treatment when someone is diagnosed. While both are very important, learning what you can do to prevent will hopefully allow you to avoid the ‘treat’ part by remaining cancer-free.

In prevention, there are some things you cannot control. For instance, you cannot control your genetics (you can thank your parents and beyond for that), where you grew up, or your exposures early in life. However there are several things you can control and researchers from Sweden want you to pay close attention to your weight and your blood sugar levels.

Weight is important because fat tissue holds on to toxins and makes its own hormones, specifically estrogen. Researchers found that if you become obese after 60 years old (think menopause) then your risk for breast cancer increased 55 percent!

They also found that diabetes (when your blood sugar, or glucose levels, became abnormally high) increased the risk 37 percent up to four years after a diagnosis. Unfortunately, there are many women walking around who are fully diabetic or borderline-diabetic and don’t know it because they haven’t had appropriate testing.

Many health care providers use a body mass index (BMI) chart in order to determine when someone is healthy, overweight, obese or extremely obese. According to the National Institute for Health BMI chart, a woman is considered obese at 5’2” and 164 pounds, or at 5’4” and 174 pounds, or at 5’6” and 186 pounds.

Remember, this is not overweight; this is their definition of obese. The BMI chart is not perfect however it is used as a guideline as it takes into account height and weight. Either way, you know it yourself when you look in the mirror or pull on your jeans if the fat cells have been creeping up.

Diabetes is often diagnosed by a blood draw when looking at a fasting glucose level. Pre-diabetes is defined as a fasting glucose between 100 – 125 mg/dL. Once your fasting numbers get above 126 mg/dL, you are considered diabetic. A normal glucose level is between 70-99 mg/dL whereas an optimal level is between 75-85 mg/dL. Ask your health care provider to check your glucose numbers and start tracking them over the years to watch for any changes or trends.

Do what you can to prevent breast cancer and really focus on your fat loss and sugar reduction efforts. There are several articles written on www.empowher.com about healthy eating, healthy exercising, and good meal planning. Take advantage of those resources and commit to reducing your risk.


1. Diabetes, Obesity After 60 May Drive Up Breast Cancer Risk. Web. December 7, 2011.

2. Report: We control many breast cancer risk factors. Web. December 7, 2011.

3. Body Mass Index Chart. Web. December 7, 2011.

4. Diagnosis of Diabetes. Web. December 7, 2011.

Reviewed December 7, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Breast cancer is seriously a very dangerous health problem & if not detected at early stage it is then impossible to cure.Many woman's suffers from this problem.It is really a killer disease.

jogging For Weight Loss

December 19, 2011 - 10:47pm

Good info. My primary care doctor who is 1 year older than me just dropped 15 pounds this year because approaching 60 she sees too many problems from extra weight among her patients. She is an inspiration to me!

December 7, 2011 - 5:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

The Anti Obesity drug makers and diabetes drug makers take in 10 billion$$$$ every year with no cure!!

Food Chemicals are the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis

The FDA and Drug makers know this and are laughing to the Billionaire$$$ bank

The food chemicals break the gut(insulin) and this is the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis

A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes and Obesity WITHOUT MEDICATIONS in now 10 countries and the drug makers do not promote the story SEE HERE http://spirithappy.org/wp/new-type-2-diabetes-diet-cure/

December 7, 2011 - 4:28pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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