If you want to minimize your chance of developing breast cancer keep an eye on your skirt size. British researchers suggest going up a size every 10 years increases your chances of developing breast cancer by 33%.
Lead researcher Dr. Usha Menon, head of the Gynecological Cancer Research Center at University College London, said “Our study has shown that an increase of one size every 10 years between 25 and postmenopausal age [over 60] is associated with an increase of breast cancer [risk] in postmenopausal women by 33 percent.”
The findings have been based on the information from a database for cancer screening in which 93000 women were enrolled. All the women were aged over 50 years when they entered the study in between 2005 and 2010. None of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer when they entered the study.
The average skirt size had been 8 when the women were aged 25. When the women entered the study, the average age was 64 and the average skirt size was 10. Three out of four women reported an increase in skirt sizes. The risk of breast cancer increased 77 percent, if the skirt size went up two sizes every decade from 25 until women were past menopause. In other words, for each size increase in every decade, five year risk of developing breast cancer after menopause increased from one in 61 to one in 51. The study was published online September 24 in BMJ Open.
The participants also gave information about their height and weight so that BMI could be calculated. They also gave details about factors which had a bearing on the cancer risk. The information included family history of breast or ovarian cancers, fertility, reproductive information, use of hormonal birth control and hormone replacement therapy. The women told their skirt size when they entered the study and also what it had been in their 20’s.
The researchers continued monitoring the women for three to four years, asking more questions about general health and any cancer diagnosis. In this period 1,090 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Increased skirt size emerged as the strongest predictor along with other risk factors like as family history and use of hormone replacement.
Menon added, “This is an observational study and no definitive conclusion can be drawn about cause and effect Changes in skirt sizing over the years also need to be taken into account. Skirt size served as a proxy for abdominal weight gain.”
Increased skirt size is an indicator of increased abdominal fat and the exact pathway of the link between and higher breast cancer risk needs more study.