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The Effect of Obesity on Breast Cancer Risk

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women without age-related.

Breast cancer, is formed as a result of breast milk glands and milk channels in the cells to gain cancer qualification, start to grow and proliferate unlimited and uncontrolled.


Although it differs among the societies, it is seen in one of every 8-10 women in western societies throughout life. Although the rate is very low, it can be seen in men, but few people realize the importance of it or notice being under the risk.

While the presence of breast cancer in the family increases the risk, 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history.


Early diagnosis is very important in the treatment of breast cancer. If breast cancer is diagnosed early, the chance of recovering from the illness is 96%.

The changes in the breast and the hesitation of the masses are a natural reaction, but delaying the interview with a specialist doctor will not only prevent to cure you but will also increase your fears. The majority of breast masses are not cancer and it should be kept in mind that even if the masses that noticed by the patients are cancer, they can be completely cured.

It is very important that each woman is to self-examined every month after the age of 20 and to have mammography screening once a year after age 40 for early diagnosis. Diagnosis of breast cancer at an early stage significantly increases the number of treatment options, the success of the treatment and the survival.


The risk of breast cancer can be reduced by some changes in daily life. Paying attention not to gain weight, doing exercise, not eating high fat foods, not smoking and not using alcohol can reduce the risk. Surgical treatment methods can be used in patients with a family history of genetic transmission and a genetic disorder determined by genetic analysis.


One of the most common questions we face these days is the relationship between obesity and breast cancer.

Some studies show that the risk of breast cancer increases by 10% to 20% as the body mass index increases. The risk of breast cancer is increased in obese women after menopause, but decreases in premenopausal women.

In addition to the obesity defined by body mass index, the distribution of body fat may be important. Some researchers believe that women with upper body and abdominal lipoidosis are more at risk of breast cancer

There is no doubt that overweight has a negative impact on general health. The claim that obesity causes breast cancer directly or increases the risk of breast cancer is not correct. However, in the case of breast cancer diagnosis, in most cases, there are common biochemical or genetic factors that cause both obesity and an increased risk of breast cancer. Obesity therefore; is an indirect indicator that the underlying genetic or biochemical factor causes an increase in the “risk context” for breast cancer.

Expressions such as “Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer”, are an arbitrary link between two truly observable factors. Therefore, there is no cause and effect relation.

To summarize, indeed, obesity may lead to increased risk for many other diseases (such as type II diabetes). However, there is little evidence to correlate obesity with causing breast cancer.

Surgeon Dr. Onur PEŞLUK

General Surgeon