Abnormally high proportion of body fat leads to obesity. Body Mass Index (BMI) helps in measuring the obesity in anyone .Body mass index is the ratio of weight in kilograms to height in metres squared. BMI is the best way to measure obesity in any person than weighing that person.
Obesity comes along with many diseases like diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer too. Results of a research suggest that 64% adults in United States suffer from obesity.
The two main contributors towards obesity are sedentary lifestyle and eating high – calorie foods. The risk of developing breast cancer in obese people is more especially upper body or abdominal obesity. There is a connection between breast cancer and obesity but why and how it is not established as yet. It is seen that half of the obese women suffer from breast cancer.
Xenestrogens are deadly estrogen like compounds which are formed in the body due to environmental pollution . These xenestrogens get stored in the fat cells of obese women. Thus causing breast cancer in obese women.
So women who remain obese after menopause have high risk of suffering from breast cancer as they have higher levels of estrogen and testosterone which doubles the risk of breast cancer in them. So it is very important for obese women to control their weight post menopause.
A recent Yale study has found “Severely obese women are more than three times likely to have their breast tumours detected at a later, less treatable stage of the disease”. So it is established that there is some link between obesity and breast cancer however the perfect cause and research on the topic is still on.
Obesity also causes irregular menstrual cycle thus leading to medical problems related to ovulation. This result in lesser circulation of breast cancer promoting hormones like progesterone and estradiol.
So the researchers think that ovulation leads to the circulation of breast cancer promoting hormones before menopause thus risk is lesser in obese women pre-menopause. But after menopause the risk increases as the hormones do not get circulated and might cause breast cancer in obese women.
The research also suggests that women who are obese before menopause have lower risk of breast cancer before menopause than healthy women of the same age. However the relation goes upside down after menopause, the obese women are at 1.5 time’s greater risk to develop breast cancer than healthy women.
What happens in obese women is that ovaries are the main producers of hormone estrogen along with the fat tissues. But after menopause ovaries stop producing estrogen and only the fat cells keep on producing estrogen .
Thus the level post menopause increases very high and causing the risk of breast cancer, while in lean women post menopause there are no fat cells to produce estrogen so the level of estrogen is 50-100 times lesser than obese women. Thus in heavy women estrogen sensitive tissues get exposed to estrogen and develop estrogen responsive breast tumours and leading to higher risk of breast cancer.