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March 26, 2010

Up to 30 percent of breast cancer cases in the United States and Western countries could be prevented if women lost weight and exercised more, according to researchers at an international conference in Spain.

 "Better treatments, early diagnosis and mammogram screenings have dramatically slowed breast cancer," according to an AP report on the conference in Barcelona.  "But experts said the focus should now shift to changing behaviors like diet and physical activity.

"What can be achieved with screening has been achieved. We can't do much more," Carlo La Vecchia, head of epidemiology at the University of Milan, said in an interview. "It's time to move on to other things."

Breast cancer is the most common form of the disease among women.  There were 190,000 new cases in the US last year leading to 40,000 deaths.

Experts say that your chance of getting breast cancer is about one in eight in your lifetime. Obese women are up to 60 percent more likely to develop any cancer than normal-weight women, according to a 2006 study by British researchers.

The American Cancer Society Web site says the connection between weight and cancer risk is complex, according to an Associated Press report. "It says risk appears to increase for women who gain weight as adults, but not for women who have been overweight since childhood," the AP says. "The cancer society recommends 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity five or more days a week to reduce the risk of breast cancer."

How to prevent breast cancer?  How to survive breast cancer? To learn more, please visit The Survivors Club Breast Cancer Support Center.

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