Health Watch - Swimsuit Shape: Fat and Cancer

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting into shape for swimsuit season. But looking good in a swimsuit isn’t the only reason to watch your weight. Excess weight can increase your risk for cancer.

It’s more difficult for women to lose weight as they age because their bodies become more efficient at storing fat and less efficient at losing it. In some women, the excess fat releases substances into the bloodstream that stimulate and stress breast cells, leading to precancerous changes. Dr. David Euhus, an oncologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s easy enough to tell patients to lose weight, but losing the weight can be difficult. That’s why it’s important for researchers to find new weight-loss strategies and to find ways to counter the influence of fat cells on normal breast cells and breast cancers.

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July 2009

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