A new study, whose findings were presented at American Association for Cancer Research Special Conference, finds that women within a normal weight range may be under the greater risk of breast cancer if their levels of body fat are too high.
For the study, a team of scientists analyzed data from 3,460 participants with a normal BMI (body mass index) with no previous diagnosis of breast cancer. The participants were followed up for about 16 years, and if the diagnosis of cancer was made, the participants were further assessed for estrogen receptor positivity.
Having analyzed the received data, the scientists found that the women with normal BMI but a high level of body fat were almost twice more likely to develop breast cancer.
Study author Dr. Neil Iyengar of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City says: “Our findings show that the risk of invasive breast cancer is increased in postmenstrual women with normal BMI and higher levels of body fat, meaning that a large proportion of the population has an unrecognized risk of developing cancer.”