Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for all patients. But, this is especially true for women with a breast cancer diagnosis, as an analysis of the California Teachers Study has shown a correlation between breast cancer deaths and body mass index (BMI).
Obesity (defined as BMI ≥30 kg/m²) increased a woman’s risk of dying of their breast cancer by 69%, compared with women with a BMI <25. For patients who were overweight at 18 years of age (defined as BMI 25-29), a similar increased risk in breast cancer mortality was detected.
Additionally, the association between obesity and breast cancer mortality is greatest among obese women who are diagnosed with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive cancer. According to the retrospective data analysis, ER-positive, obese women participating in the study had a 64% increased risk of death from breast cancer (compared with those with a BMI <25).
In light of these statistics, what are some ways medical professionals can continue to encourage healthy body weight among patients? What healthy eating and exercise strategies have you seen have a positive impact on patient lifestyle(s)? Share your suggestions and ideas in the comments section below.