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Combination of overeating and Inactivity increases breast cancer risk

Over-eating and and not doing enough exercise may be a bad combination for the development of breast cancer. This is the conclusion of researchers from China and USA as per a findings from a new study. This finding is more true in the case of a post menopausal woman. The researchers speak about unhealthy energy balance, which means that these women are not spending as much calories as they are taking in, resulting in a net gain in calories. This combination of over-eating and lack of activity may be associated with nearly five fold increase in the risk of breast cancer. Simple over-eating if combined with adequate physical activity on the other hand is not associated with significant increase in the risk of breast cancer. It is the combination of over-eating and lack of physical activity that is particularly dangerous in terms of the increased risk of breast cancer. These findings were published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

This research was led by Dr. Alecia S. Malin of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. During the course of this study, Malin and her team interviewed 1,459 women diagnosed with breast cancer, and 1,556 women of similar age without breast cancer, and asked them to recall their activity levels in recent years. All women were living in Shanghai. Women who were relatively overweight appeared to have no higher risk of breast cancer if they also exercised, while inactive women appeared to escape the disease if they stayed lean.

Women who consistently showed the highest risk of cancer were those who were relatively inactive, heavier, and followed a higher-calorie diet. These findings suggest that it's the combination of the two unhealthy habits, overeating and inactivity, that appear to put women at risk, Malin said in an interview. "Women who didn't work out, who had zero activity, and ate more than 2100 calories were at risk," she said.

She added that these findings serve as another "warning" for women about how they put their health at risk if they don't eat right and exercis". These are the healthy things to do, and here's what happens if you don't do them," Malin noted. The researcher said that one of her co-authors, Charles E. Matthews, has also found that women who eat more than they work off are also at higher risk of endometrial cancer.

To investigate the relationship between energy balance and cancer, she and her colleagues plan to study how the body changes with an unhealthy energy balance, and if those changes can trigger cancer.

SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, June 2005

Cancer terms:
Anemia: Red cells of the blood contain a substance called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. When the hemoglobin is low the condition is called anemia. Anemia may cause symptoms like fatigue, tiredness and weakness. See cancer terms for more cancer related terms. Combination of overeating and Inactivity increases breast cancer risk

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