Dropping just a few pounds could significantly lower women’s breast cancer risk, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that women who dieted and exercised to lose a moderate amount of weight also saw a drop in their levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

Previous research has shown that overweight and obese women are at greater risk for breast cancer; that’s because fat tissue boosts the production of estrogen, which in turn fuels many breast tumors. The current study is the first to show that losing weight helps reduce that risk.

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