The Chromosomal Link Between Breast Cancer Risk and Obesity Found!

A recent study has found the chromosomal link that helps reduce or increase the risk for breast cancer through a mechanism that controls the weight of the woman.

Recently, research was conducted to study the link between weight loss, body fat and the length of a certain chromosome in the women with breast cancer.

It is well documented that maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercises, and a healthy diet are the keys to cancer prevention and management. However, the exact mechanism through which these factors work was not fully known.

Researchers at the Yale Cancer Center have found an explanation for this link in the small ends of a chromosome called telomeres. These findings will be presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 11, 2015.

The research was based on a previously published study conducted at the Yale called LEAN that examined how weight loss through healthy lifestyle changes was linked with the telomere length in the breast cancer survivors who enrolled in a weight-loss program. It was found that the telomeres shortened with each cell division and were also associated with faster aging and an increased risk of mortality in the breast cancer patients.

The Yale study further explored the link between telomere length and weight loss in the breast cancer survivors. The research concluded that telomeres in the breast cancer survivors who had lost weight through regular exercise and a healthy diet were slower to shorten.

“It was also found that the telomere shortening was reversed in some cases when the women followed a healthy diet and lost weight,” said the first author of the study, Dr. Tara Sanft, the assistant professor of medical oncology.

“The results indicate that a higher body fat level could be associated with a shorter telomere length. Also, weight loss was strongly associated with an increase in the length of the telomere,” Sanft said. “This indicates that the length of telomere could be a mechanism through which the relationship between breast cancer risk and mortality and obesity is mediated.”

The senior author of the study, Melinda Irwin, said, “A growing body of scientific research linking lifestyle factors like exercising and maintaining a healthy weight with an improved breast cancer treatment success and survival is compelling.”

“With the findings of exercise and weight loss improving the mechanisms associated with breast cancer mortality and treatment success, a shift in the management of breast cancer patients that includes increased access to lifestyle behavioral counseling is expected,” Irwin said.

Meanwhile, new guidelines have been recommended by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Cancer Society. The women who have undergone lumpectomy for the removal of a cancerous lesion in the breast or mastectomy are advised to have regular follow ups with annual mammograms. Mammograms are not required for the women who have undergone reconstruction of the breasts. MRIs are also not recommended except in cases of high-risk factors.

Following these guidelines and maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can improve the chances of survival of breast cancer patients substantially.

Find more about “Alternative ways of cancer treatment” for breast cancer on our website.


1. Study links body fat, weight loss, and chromosome length in breast cancer patients
2. New follow-up care guidelines released for breast cancer survivors
3. Yale study explores breast cancer/weight loss link

Featured Photo Source: Ken Borsuk / Hearst Connecticut Media

Dr. Adem Gunes

Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at

What’s Your Breast Density And Why Should You Know?

Photo From Jasper Pickens County Georgia

Photo From Jasper Pickens County Georgia

By Rachel Pappas – Founder of  & Author of Hopping Roller Coasters

About 50 percent of women have dense breasts, meaning the tissue is more fibrous and glandular than fatty. What else it means is that it’s harder to catch cancer with digital mammography. The technology misses breast cancers 40 to 60 percent of the time in this population.  I learned this the hard way: when a mammogram missed my tumor a few months before my breast cancer diagnosis. And a second one missed it a few days before my biopsy that confirmed a 3-cm tumor.

This is not to scare anyone, but hopefully to empower you to learn your breast  density if you don’t know it. And to look into more sensitive diagnostic screening options if you do have dense breasts, especially since, while dense breasts are common, research shows they put us at higher risk for breast cancer.

Know that some states have adopted laws requiring imaging centers and or referring physicians to let women know what their breast density is, so they can opt for the best screening options. The newest technology, proven to increase early detection by 40 percent in women with dense breasts, is called 3D mammography.

This type of mammogram has been in the works since the early 90s and was FDA approved in 2012. Rather than look at a piece of the whole chest as with standard mammography, radiologists, using 3D imaging, view individual, 1-mm-thin slices of breast. They can look 1 mm deep, then 2 mm deep, all the way through the breast to detect disease that may be concealed by tissue. Think about a loaf of bread—I know, you’d probably rather not consider your body parts to be dough, but to put the concept in perspective, imagine being able to see all the way through the loaf rather than just the top and bottom slices.

The 3-D mammogram is virtually the same experience for the patient. The breast is still compressed, the procedure is about the same length of time. You get the same amount of radiation exposure, but your provider is able to retrieve more information.

Currently many insurance companies do not cover 3D mammography. But some imaging centers offer the technology at significantly reduced rates. My cancer center charges $40 to non-Medicare patients, and screens at no charge to Medicare patients.

So if you were not told what your breast density is, ask your doctor. Look into 3D mammography if you have dense breasts. See if your insurance covers the test, and if it’s not covered, ask if you can have a rate adjustment. It could save your life.

Founder of  1UpOnCancer.Com

Founder of 1UpOnCancer.Com

Rachel Pappas is breast cancer survivor. She is the founder of And the author of Hopping Roller Coasters, which tells the story of her and her daughter, both diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

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