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Losing Weight May Help Lower Cancer Risk

Weight Loss Linked to Reduced Inflammation in Postmenopausal Women

Obesity and Cancer

For Mitchell Roslin, MD, who was not involved in the research, the study is more evidence that obesity is an inflammatory disease.

"This will become a hot topic," says Roslin, chief of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. "Obesity and cancer is a very interesting angle, which we are just beginning to understand. We don't know what is driving the inflammatory state of obesity, but we know it decreases when you lose weight."

Cancer prevention researcher Kerri Winters-Stone, PhD, says the study is very impressive, especially compared to smaller studies that came before.

"It gives us a better idea of what we can expect at a population level," says Winters-Stone, of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. "And it gives more evidence of what results from behavioral changes. Diet-induced weight loss is really central to reducing inflammation markers. And these were not extreme weight loss plans. The weight loss came from realistic plans that people can achieve over a year."

Plan to Lose Weight

McTiernan advises women who are overweight to start exercising, to pay close attention to what and how much they eat, and to keep track of progress to help reach a weight loss goal of 1 to 2 pounds per week. She hopes that women will get help to do this from their doctors.

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