Breast Cancer and Insulin are Linked. BREAK THE LINK and help Prevent and Treat Breast Cancer

breast cancer and belly

Breast Cancer IS Linked to excess INSULIN

The following article can save millions of women’s lives and future health……. by first making women aware of a cause of breast cancer that is not widely publicized and then enabling them to be proactive in decreasing their risk of developing breast cancer, improving survival rates if they have been diagnosed, and finally, helping to prevent breast cancer recurrence.

1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime
1,970 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2010. Less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases occur in men.
In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer along with 54, 010 new cases of non-invasive cancers were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S.
-Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. More than 1 in 4 cancers in women (about 28%) are breast cancer.
-In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general

breast cancer beat cancer

As I researched these sobering statistics and knew the topic of this article….the urgency to get the message out to all women around the world became overwhelming. After you read the following article…PLEASE forward it to all the women in your life: moms, grandmoms, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, friends…everyone.

The switch that may be turning on breast cancer is: INSULIN. Yes INSULIN. A key to decrease the risk for breast cancer, improve the chance of survival, and decrease the chance of recurrence is in normalizing a woman’s circulating insulin levels.

According to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2009), higher than normal levels of insulin place postmenopausal women at increased risk of breast cancer. Did you know that the majority of breast cancers arise in women past the age of menopause?

The findings were published in the January 7, 2009 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. “Interventions that target insulin and its signaling pathways may decrease risk of breast cancer.” That was almost exactly 4 years ago. Have you heard a word about it???

Obesity has long been known as a risk factor and until now researchers assumed that the link is estrogen (as estrogen is known to increase breast cancer risk and is found in higher than average levels in obese women). But…and this is a big but…..insulin levels are most often high in obese people (women). It is known that insulin stimulates the growth of breast cells in tissue culture.

What is landmark about the Einstein study is that it is the first study to show the correlation between high insulin levels to breast cancer while estrogen was controlled! In other words, having high insulin levels (regardless of estrogen levels) dramatically increases the risk for breast cancer.

The multi-year Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)…the largest study of postmenopausal women by the National Institutes of Health…provided the supportive data.

Researchers found that women with the highest insulin levels were 50% more likely to have developed breast cancer compared with women who had the lowest insulin levels!!!!! Women with high insulin were twice as likely to develop breast cancer.

breast cancer and back rolls

And, if a woman was obese but did not have high insulin levels, the association between obesity and breast cancer was much weaker. Insulin is a link between overweight and breast cancer.

According to Marc Gunter, PhD epidemiology at Einstein, “This means a large component of obesity-cancer relationship may be mediated by insulin levels.”

Dr. Howard Strickler, the senior author of the paper states: “It is also possible that screening non-diabetic postmenopausal women for high insulin levels could prove useful in identifying individuals at high risk or breast cancer.” Strickler and colleagues have shown that insulin also plays a role in endometrial and colorectal cancer and the progression of certain viral diseases including HIV, hepatitis C, and HPV.

Fast forward to December, 2010…Melinda Irwin, Yale School of Public Health publishes in the Journal of Clinical Oncology: “Women treated for breast cancer who have elevated levels of circulating insulin face substantially higher mortality rates than their peers with lower levels. And women with type 2 diabetes had an even greater risk of breast cancer death compared with women without type 2 diabetes. Their findings suggest that treatment strategies that reduce insulin in women treated for breast cancer…which could include dietary-induced weight loss, increased physical activity, and insulin lowering medications should be explored.


“There is growing evidence that weight and physical activity affect breast cancer outcomes, and our findings suggest that the mechanism linking lifestyle factors and breast cancer may be the insulin pathway,” Irwin said
The study also showed that a daily brisk walking program decreased insulin levels. Women treated for breast cancer who are overweight or not currently exercising should definitely seek lifestyle counseling.

“Within the next couple of years, I hope the research continues to show a strong and clinically meaningful benefit of weight loss and exercise on cancer outcomes, and in turn will force second party payers/insurance companies to consider reimbursing for lifestyle counseling for cancer patients much like they do for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” she said.

Of interest, preliminary findings of the study revealed that lean women were most susceptible to breast cancer if their insulin levels were elevated. Those results could indicate another reason that healthy eating and regular activity is important for post-menopausal women. Keeping insulin levels controlled may be another factor that can reduce our risk of breast cancer.

How Do I Know if My Insulin is Out of Whack?

In the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Volume 28), 2010, patients with diabetes have a higher risk of developing several types of cancer, including liver, pancreatic, colorectal, gynecologic, and breast cancer. Cancer prognosis has also been suggested to be adversely affected by diabetes.

“These simple measures would enable us to tailor interventions on the basis of lifestyle, such as dietary modifications and physical activity programs that have already been associated with improved survival in selected patients and they will assist identification of patients with undiagnosed diabetes”.

1. High insulin levels are part of the metabolic syndrome (Metabolism B or Met B). Other parts of metabolic syndrome include increased midline and visceral fat deposits, elevated LDL and low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, blood pressure, blood sugar. It has long been known that people with Met B are at increased risk for cardiovascular death, but it now appears that they are also at increased risk of many cancers.

2. Measurement of the HOMA index, a reliable indicator of insulin resistance tests insulin and glucose in a single fasting blood specimen. This study suggests it become part of routine clinical practice.

3. Identify those with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes through fasting glucose testing.

4. In patients with breast cancer who have overt diabetes or glucose intolerance, metformin should be regarded as the antidiabetic drug of choice given its potential lower association with cancer development compared with insulin or sulfonylureas.

And this was the conclusion of the Journal of Clinical Oncology study:
In the era of treatment selectivity and molecular-targeted anticancer drugs, the accumulating evidence of common pathways linking breast cancer and impaired glucose intolerance or diabetes is increasingly pointing the way forward.

The time has come to overcome the conventional tunnel vision that results in two diseases being treated by separate clinicians, and to move towards a comprehensive approach that ideally integrates oncologists, internists, nutritionists, and other health care professionals in an attempt to improve breast cancer prognosis in a significant proportion of patients.


Over 100 million people in the US have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and millions more have uncontrolled metabolic syndrome (insulin excess) . Half of these people are women!

Millions of women are currently increasing their chance of developing breast cancer (and other cancers) because they are not aware that their insulin level is abnormal.

Once, just once, let’s give women (and men) the truth about self-preservation. Have your labwork done. Fasting. Request fasting glucose, lipid panel, hemoglobin A1C, Vitamin D.

Glucose: should be 65-89mg/dL…out of this range? Mark a check
Total cholesterol: should be under 200mg/dL without medication….out of this range or on meds? Mark a check
LDL cholesterol: should be under 100mg/dL without medication…out of this range or on meds? Mark a check
Triglycerides: should be under 100mg/dL without medication….out of this range or on meds? Mark a check
Hemoglobin A1C: should be between 5.3-5.6 without medication…out of this range or on meds? Mark a check
Vitamin D: should be over 40 without supplementation…out of this range or on supplement? Mark a check.

Midline fat that won’t go away? Craving Carbs? Mild depression? Difficult to Lose Weight? Irritable? Poor short term memory? Unable to concentrate? Difficulty sleeping? Blurry vision that comes and goes? Problems with light sensitivity or night driving?
The labs mentioned above and the symptoms mentioned below them all relate to excess insulin. I call it: Metabolism B.

If you fit the profile and are lost as to what you can do to immediately decrease and normalize your insulin and keep you at a lower risk for cancer, including breast cancer……


Love Diane Kress’ work?  Here are links to her books and support site!

The Metabolism Miracle:

The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook:

The Metabolism Miracle Update:  (Brand new!)

The Diabetes Miracle:

The Interactive Support Group for Followers of The Metabolism Miracle and The Diabetes Miracle:




About Diane Kress

Author of The New York Times Bestseller; The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, and The Diabetes Miracle. and The Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition. Owner, developer, and administrator of The Metabolism Miracle's support site: Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Email:
This entry was posted in ADA, AMA, Atkins diet, breast cancer, Diane Kress, Diet, dLife, excess insulin, insulin resistance, LADA, low carb, Met B, Metabolic syndrome, Metabolism B,, monitoring blood glucose, overweight, PCOS, pre diabetes, prediabetes, The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, The Metabolism Miracle Update, type 1.5 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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