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Breast cancer survivor says her 120-pound weight loss helped save her life: ‘Strong, confident and healthy’

Experts weigh in on obesity's cancer risk factors: 'A leaner body is a healthier body' By Melissa Rudy . Fox News

Published October 26, 2023 4:00am EDT

In 2016, Tamara Loving, a mother from Huntington Beach, California, started her eight-month weight loss journey after joining Weight Watchers. She lost 120 pounds from her original weight of 270.The next year, Loving was diagnosed with stage 1A hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in June 2017.

A biopsy confirmed Loving’s cancer diagnosis. She received a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection on her right side. After doctors reviewed her results, they realized Loving had more tumors than imagined and she had to make a choice between another lumpectomy or a double mastectomy.

Loving decided to have the double mastectomy with reconstruction in November 2017. After her surgery, she did not need to undergo radiation or chemotherapy as her lymph node dissection results came back negative.

Dr. Brett Osborn told Fox News Digital anyone who suffers from obesity is more susceptible to being diagnosed with cancer.

"Cancer, like all non-infectious, age-related diseases, is underpinned by inflammation," said Osborn. "And obesity is an inflammatory disease resulting from the overconsumption of simple carbohydrates in the context of a sedentary lifestyle."

He said it is 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to occur in obese post-menopausal women than those with a normal body mass index (BMI).

"If you are obese and fighting cancer, you are trudging uphill, shouldering a 100-pound rucksack," he said. "You are certainly not stacking the deck in your favor."

Osborn added if someone were to lose body fat, their chances of being diagnosed with cancer are reduced and have a better chance of fighting it.

"Why? The promoters for cancer growth have been eliminated — namely, the high levels of circulating blood sugar and inflammation," he said.

"So not only are you increasing your risk of beating cancer, but you are also getting leaner. And a leaner body — within reason — is a healthier body."

The year before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Loving consistently worked out and ate a nutritious diet to lose the excess weight.

This article originally appeared on Fox News on October 26, 2023 and was authored by Melissa Rudy.