ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
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Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
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Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
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Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Smog Tougher on the Obese
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Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
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Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Holistic Dentistry-My View
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Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
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Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
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Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Barefoot Best for Running?
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk

Women who pack on the pounds over their lifetime steadily increase their risk for postmenopausal breast cancer, compared with women who maintain their weight, a new study finds.

Earlier studies have linked excess weight with an increased risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women, but this is one of the few studies that traces the risk as a function of weight gain over time.

"Among women who had never used postmenopausal hormone therapy, those who had a body-mass index (BMI) gain between age 20 and 50 had a doubling of breast cancer risk," said lead researcher Laura Sue, a cancer research fellow at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Sue was expected to present the findings Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting, in Washington D.C.

For the study, Sue's team collected data on more than 72,000 women who took part in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. When the study began, the women were between 55 and 74 years old. Among these women, 3,677 had developed a postmenopausal breast cancer.

The researchers looked only at women who had had breast cancer and had never taken hormone replacement therapy to reduce menopausal symptoms. Hormone therapy can boost the risk for developing breast cancer, so by looking at women who had never taken the therapy, the researchers were able to better isolate weight as an individual risk factor.

Compared with women who maintained about the same weight at 50 as they had at age 20, women who gained about 30 pounds over the years increased their risk for breast cancer twofold, the study found.

Among the women in the study, almost 57 percent had increased their BMI by five kilograms per meter squared (kg/m2) over 30 years. That's akin to a women 5 feet 4 inches tall putting on about 30 pounds, Sue said.

An increase in BMI of 5 kg/m2 or more over 30 years increased the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer by 88 percent, compared with women whose BMI remained stable over the same period.

Among women whose BMI increased 5 kg/m2 or more from the age of 50 onwards, their risk for breast cancer increased 56 percent, compared with women whose BMI remained the same. That means that jumps in weight before and after age 50 boost a woman's odds for postmenopausal breast cancer, the researchers noted.

The increased risk for breast cancer was tied to the weight gain itself, not to becoming obese, Sue added.

The rise in risk may be due to an increase in the production of estrogen in the body's excess fat cells, which in turn may increase the number of cells produced in the breasts, upping the risk for cancer, Sue said.

The bottom line: "We believe healthy BMI maintenance throughout adulthood is important in terms of breast cancer risk," she said.

SOURCES: Laura Sue, M.P.H., cancer research fellow, U.S. National Cancer Institute; April 20, 2010, presentation, American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, Washington D.C. Published on: April 20, 2010