Excess weight not breast size, is a risk factor, particularly in
postmenopausal women-- and not just for getting breast cancer,
but for dying of it. Thirty to 50 percent of all cancer deaths
among postmenopausal women in America may be attributed
to being overweight, according to the American Cancer Society.
Estrogen is stored in fat tissue, so heavier women produce more
of the female hormone which can spur developing cancers. And
breast tumors are harder to detect in obese women, cancer is
often found at later stages.
The risk of dying of breast cancer is also associated with height,
which may be related to growth factors early in life. Women who
are 5 feet tall or shorter are at less risk of death from the disease
than those who are taller. Breast size has nothing to do with risk,
but height and weight do.