Older women who lose weight can significantly reduce their risk of endometrial cancer, the most common form of uterine cancer, a recent study indicates. The risk reduction is most pronounced among obese woman who lose weight.
The study was
conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and
involved data taken from more than 35,000 U.S. women between
50 and 79 years old who received follow-ups for an average 10-year
period. Women who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight saw a
29 percent reduction in their risk of endometrial cancer, while obese
women who also lost at least 5 percent saw a 56 percent reduction.
"Many older adults think it's too
late to benefit from weight loss, or think that because they are
overweight or obese, the damage has already been done,” study
author Juhua Luo said. “But our findings show that's not true. It's
never too late, and even moderate weight loss can make a big
difference when it comes to cancer risk."
Though the study did not prove that
losing weight caused a lower risk of uterine cancer, it did show that women who gained more than 10 pounds increased their
risk of the cancer by an average of 26 percent.
"There have been more than
a thousand studies linking obesity to an increased risk of
endometrial and other cancers, but almost none that look at the
relationship between weight loss and cancer risk," Dr. Jennifer
Ligibel, an ASCO expert in cancer prevention said. "This study
tells us that weight loss, even later in life, is linked to a lower
risk of endometrial cancer. The findings also support the development
of weight loss programs as part of a cancer prevention strategy in
overweight and obese adults."
Weight loss linked to lower risk of uterine cancer