Myths about Weight Loss
I know that I have written (too) many times about the association between obesity and breast cancer risk. This seems to apply both to the initial risk of diagnosis as well as to the risk of possible recurrence. The reason is that many breast cancers are estrogen-driven, and estrogen lives in fat cells. When it is laid out so simply, it makes perfect, although dislikable, sense. I am very well aware of the tenderness of the issue, and how many women struggle to maintain, let alone lose, weight.
Generally speaking, it is harder not to gain weight after menopause, and menopause comes early to many women treated with chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Additionally, the drugs themselves may cause some weight gain. And more additionally, few women can maintain their usual level of exercise and activity while going through treatment, so they come out the other end with more pounds on board. It can also be hard to deprieve ourselves of food we love when we are feeling so stressed and anxious anyway--a bowl of ice cream, rich mashed potatoes, cookies may all seem soothing.
This is, I think, a very helpful article from Breast Cancer.org about some common myths that may make it harder to lose weight. And it also contains some helpful and practical suggestions. Per usual, I give you the beginning and a link:
Obesity Myths May Undermine Weight Loss Attempts
TOPIC: Risk Factors
Overweight and obese women defined
as having a BMI (body mass index) over 25 have
a higher risk of being
diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who maintain a healthy weight, especially after menopause.
Being overweight also can increase the risk of the breast cancer coming back (recurrence) in women who have
had the disease.
This higher risk is because fat cells make estrogen; extra fat cells mean more estrogen in the body and estrogen
can make hormonereceptorpositive
breast cancers develop and grow.
A study has found seven myths related to obesity and weight loss – beliefs that are unsupported by scientific
evidence – are commonly mentioned in scientific papers and popular media, and that these myths may be
undermining people’s attempts to lose weight.
The research was published in the Jan. 31, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.