Women who are overweight or obese are less likely to detect cancerous lumps in their breasts, a new study from The Karolinska Institute in Sweden has suggested.
In the UK, women between the ages of 50 and 70 are invited for breast cancer screenings every three years but although being overweight does increase the risk of developing the disease, it is not considered for setting these screening intervals at the moment, the BBC reports.
The study also found that women who were overweight were more likely to have bigger tumours when detected either at a mammogram or between screenings. This could be down to the fact that their breasts were larger so the tumour was harder to find, or because their tumours grew at a faster rate.
Lead author of the report D Fredrik Strand told the news source: “Our study suggests that when a clinician presents the pros and cons of breast cancer screening to the patient, having high BMI should be an important ‘pro’ argument. In addition, our findings suggest that women with high BMI should consider shorter time intervals between screenings.”
According to Cancer Research UK, there are major studies that confirm being obese or overweight does increase the risk of various cancers – and the World Health Organisation has also gone so far as to say that after tobacco overweight or obesity are the most important known avoidable causes of the disease. In England, around 60 per cent of adults are classed as either being overweight or obese.
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