ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
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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