ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
EYE CARE, VISION
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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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