EMOTM for 12 Min:
5 Front Squat
20 Double Under
Saturday October 20th we will be participating in Barbells For Boobs, the annual CrossFit fundraiser during breast cancer awareness month. Plan on coming coming in early and staying late to cheer on and support your fellow CrossFitters.
Many of you have been asking for meal ideas, here’s one for breakfast!
With this being breast cancer awareness month and all I thought it fitting to post this article I found relating obesity and breast cancer. The great thing about this article is that it can serve as motivation for someone close to you to get that extra push and start working toward a healthier weight to lower their risk of breast cancer.
Jun 15, 2012
Although the link between obesity and the development of breast cancer is well known, less research has been done to date looking at obesity’s effect on cancer recurrence and overall survival.
Now a new study presented to the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference in Vienna, Austria, has addressed this question, and its answers boil down to further bad news.
The Sad Facts
Although a woman can’t do anything about her weight at the moment she is diagnosed, the sad (and now scientifically proven) fact is that, compared to women who are leaner, women who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with breast cancer are at higher risk of their cancer recurring or of dying from causes related to the cancer.
The researchers emphasized that these results held true even though the dosages of chemotherapy given to all the women in the study had been adjusted for their body weights. One researcher told the conference that this study added additional credence to the evidence that lifestyle factors can indeed influence cancer prognosis.
The Study Itself
Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, studied data from more than 1,900 patients who between 1997 and 1999 participated in a large randomized clinical trial. Half the participants were menopausal and about 70 percent of them were overweight or obese. And, since 65 percent of these women had estrogen-receptor-positive cancers (where the presence of estrogen encourages the tumor to grow), 70 percent of them took tamoxifen after their treatment had ended, a drug that blocks estrogen-receptors in the body.
After obtaining data about the women’s height and weight from their patient records, the researchers then evaluated the relationships between their body mass indexes (BMIs) and what kind of survival experience they eventually had—that is, whether they survived without any further trouble from cancer (relapse-free survival, or RFS), or whether they suffered a recurrence but ultimately survived (overall survival, or OS).
As I mentioned above, compared to those who were leaner at the time of their first breast-cancer diagnosis, those women who were overweight or obese were at higher risk of recurrence or of dying from cancer-related causes.
One Researcher’s Concerns
To illustrate the growing crisis about weight in this country, Dr. Ligibel pointed out that 68 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years and over were overweight or obese in 2007-2008, whereas only 56 percent of the same population segment were in 1994–1998. “That,” Ligibel said, “is why we think it is a matter of urgency to find out as much about the relationship between obesity and cancer as we can.”
Ligibel said finally that, even though research studies have not yet nailed down definite proof that losing weight or exercising more regularly will decrease the risk of breast cancer recurrence, the scientists do know 2 things for sure:
- Obesity is a modifiable risk factor—we can do something about it ourselves.
- Studies continue to find consistent links between breast-cancer prognosis and such affirmative lifestyle factors as healthy diet, healthy weight, and vigorous physical activity.
In closing, Ligibel predicted that if future studies do demonstrate conclusively that women with early breast cancer can improve their survival rates by making changes in their behaviors, then lifestyle interventions could one day become a standard part of breast cancer care.
The Bottom Line
So ladies, it’s springtime—get outside and power walk! At the table, focus on plates of food that contain lots of colorful fruits and veggies and fewer starchy foodstuffs. Encourage and talk up these same weight-control activities among your friends, as well as with future generations—so we can have real hope that our daughters and granddaughters can prevent some of these risk factors triggered by our various bad behaviors.