A weighty cancer concern
Obesity may not raise your risk of developing breast or cervical cancers, but it could raise the risk of not
Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, reported in the journal Cancer that heavier women are less likely to get a mammogram or Pap test – two key cancer screening tools.
The findings are based on a review of more than 30 previously-published studies.
While the researchers say few studies look at the “why” behind this gap, a study published last month in the journal Appetite found that women feel more discomfort at the prospect of stepping on a scale in front of others than men do (file that under “I could have told you that!”). In a press release, Andrew B. Geier, the lead author of that study, speculated that fear of the weigh-in could prevent some women from going to the doctor.
While fear of the scale never kept me away from the doctor’s office, I will admit that I used to turn my back to the numbers when my physician’s assistant weighed me in. My reasoning? That I could gauge my weight better from how my clothes fit. While a number of women I know subscribe to this theory and shun the bathroom scale, research in fact suggests that regular weigh-ins make it easier to maintain your weight because you can monitor small fluctuations and make changes before 5 pounds become 10… or 20.