- Young Women’s Support Group 6 October 2014
- Study shows that women who go up a skirt size every decade are more likely to develop breast cancer
- Study finds “Angelina Jolie effect” led to twice as many referrals for genetic testing
Young Women’s Support Group 6 October 2014
The next Young Women’s Support Group will take place on Wednesday 8 October 2014 from 4pm until 6pm.
The group will be joined by Claudia Manchanda, previously a Healthy Eating and Nutrition Development Manager for Shoreditch Trust, a Hackney based charity. Claudia has project managed NHS-funded healthy eating projects and has lectured at Westminster University and City and Islington College. She will discuss nutrition and healthy eating and the aim of this session is for people to feel empowered about making sustainable healthier choices.
If you would like attend, or want any more information, please call Reema on 0207 830 2323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study shows that women who go up a skirt size every decade are more likely to develop breast cancer
A study published in BMJ Open has found that women who went up skirt size every decade from their mid-20s increased their risk of developing breast cancer by 33%.
A number of previous studies have found that both overall obesity and central obesity (midriff fat) increase the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. However, there have been no studies investigating whether changes in central obesity affect breast cancer risk. Researchers from University of London therefore conducted this study, using skirt size as a proxy for waist circumference.
Over 90,000 women gave information on their current skirt size and their skirt size in their mid-20s, as well as detailed information on other factors which can affect breast cancer risk. The women were then followed for three years. Over this period, 1,090 women developed breast cancer.
Women whose skirt size had increased by one size every decade were found to have a 33% higher chance of developing post-menopausal breast cancer, while women whose skirt size had increased by two sizes every decade increased their risk by 77%. Reductions in skirt size also decreased the risk of breast cancer. This association was found regardless of a woman’s overall weight.
The researchers did note that the study has some limitations, including relying on women being able to recall accurately what skirt size they wore in their twenties. Dress sizes have also changed over the previous 40 years, which was not taken into account.
Usha Menon, study a co-author, said: “Given that obesity is now emerging as a global epidemic, from a public health perspective our findings are significant as they provide women with a simple and easy to understand message. It needs effort to calculate the BMI from height and weight and most of us do not remember what it might have been some years ago. In that respect … skirt size as a proxy for waist circumference is easily remembered over time.”
Simon Vincent, assistant director of research at Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: “We know that 40 per cent of breast cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle such as being regularly active and maintaining a healthy weight. This study highlights an easy way to monitor your weight gain over time. Women are more likely to remember their skirt size when they were younger than their Body Mass Index.
“Here at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, we encourage all women to raise their pulse and reduce their risk. Women should take part in regular physical activity of moderate intensity for 3.5 hours per week.”
Study finds “Angelina Jolie effect” led to twice as many referrals for genetic testing
A study in Breast Cancer Research has found evidence of the previously anecdotal “Angelina Jolie effect” – a significant increase in the number of NHS referrals for genetic tests of breast cancer risk after the actress announced she had a preventative double mastectomy last year.
US actress Angelina Jolie announced in May 2013 that she had tested positive for a mutated BRCA1 gene and so had chosen to have a preventative double mastectomy. A female BRCA1 carrier has between a 60 and 90 per cent chance of developing the disease, with the precise figure for an individual depending on various factors. Approximately 5% of breast cancers are thought to be due to inherited genetic faults, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2. In speaking out, she hoped to raise awareness of the genetic risks of breast cancer, and the options that are available to those who are found to have a greatly increased risk of developing the disease.
This study calculated monthly referral data to 12 family history clinics and 9 regional genetics services across the UK from 2012 to 2013. It found that NHS referrals more than doubled after May 2013, with an increase of over 250% in June and July 2013 compared to the same period the year before (from 1,981 in 2012 to 4,847 in 2013). From August to October 2013, the referral rate continued to remain approximately 200% higher than the previous year.
The researchers also compared the appropriateness of the referrals with the recommended guidelines and found that the media coverage had not led to inappropriate referrals, meaning that only those with a suitable family history were referred.
Professor Gareth Evans, team leader said: “The Angelina Jolie effect has been long-lasting and global, and appears to have increased referrals to centres appropriately”.
Sally Greenbrook, Senior Policy Officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “We have heard anecdotally that referrals to family history and genetics services had increased since Angelina Jolie’s announcement but it’s interesting to see evidence to support this. We’re also encouraged to learn that women with a family history of breast cancer are recognising that they may be at increased risk of developing the disease and taking a proactive approach to their health.
“It’s important to remember however that only one in five breast cancer cases are linked to having a family history of the disease, and faults in known breast cancer genes are very rare. This is why genetic testing is only offered to those considered to be at higher risk following a family history assessment.