Women who lose weight after age 50 and keep it off have a lower risk of breast cancer than women whose weight stays the same, according to a study from researchers at the American Cancer Society, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and others. Being overweight is a known risk for breast cancer after menopause, but this is the first large study to show that losing weight can reduce this risk. The findings did not include women using post-menopausal hormone therapy.
More than 2 of out of 3 women in the US is overweight or obese. The findings show it’s never too late to benefit from losing weight, and that goes for women who’ve gained weight even after age 50. “Our results suggest that even a modest amount of sustained weight loss is associated with lower breast cancer risk for women over 50,” said Lauren Teras, PhD, lead author of the study.