Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can be a bit more challenging as we get older, but taking a walk, running on the treadmill or choosing salad over steak will not only benefit your waistline, but believe it or not, also your breasts. One of the breast cancer risk factors for Black women is genetic predisposition. We can’t change our genes, but new research shows there’s a risk factor that we can control: our weight.
More than one in two Black women in the U.S. are reported to be obese. A study of more than 15,000 Black women recently published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that being overweight or obese increased the risk of ER-positive breast cancer by 31 percent in postmenopausal women.
“Breast cancer appears to have different risk factors in younger versus older women but by far, breast cancer is more common among postmenopausal women,” said Esther John, author of a similar study with Hispanic women.
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer for African Americans according to the CDC. Dr. Elisa Bandera of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and author of the study with Black women said in a news release:
“We know that breast cancer has several subtypes and there is growing evidence that these subtypes have different risk factors. The distribution of these subtypes and risk factors are different for African Americans and Hispanics compared to white women.”
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Bandera knows that one study isn’t enough and said, “We need to know more about what African American women can do to prevent and survive breast cancers of all types, which are often aggressive and deadly.”
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Breast Cancer center for more articles.