Link Between Breast Cancer and High Insulin = BIG News in Breast Cancer Prevention/Treatment

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let's make all women aware of the definite link between high levels of insulin and breast cancer. Normalize insulin to prevent cancer, improve survival rate, and prevent recurrence
By: Diane Kress, RD CDE
Oct. 4, 2011 - PRLog -- Insulin Breast Cancer Connection: Confirmatory

                            Breast Cancer’s Missing Link REVEALED

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, and helping to prevent breast cancer recurrence.  

This may be the most important article you read during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Missing Link 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.

Obesity has long been known as a risk factor and until now researchers assumed that the link is in 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.

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.

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.

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.

“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).  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 pointingthe 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 Met B.  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.  
It’s breast cancer awareness month.  Once, just once, let’s give women (and men) the truth about self-preservation.

Have your labwork done.  Fasting.  Minimally ask for a fasting glucose, lipid panel, hemoglobin A1C, Vitamin D.

Glucose: should be 65-89mg/dL…out of this range?  Put a check

Total cholesterol: should be under 200mg/dL without medication….out of this range or on meds? Put a check

LDL cholesterol: should be under 100mg/dL without medication…out of this range or on meds? Put a check

Triglycerides: should be under 100mg/dL without medication….out of this range or on meds? Put a check

Hemoglobin A1C: should be between 5.3-5.6 without  medication…our of this range or on meds? Put a check

Vitamin D: should be over 40 without supplementation…out of this range or on supplement? Put 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  high circulating 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……


The Lifestyle Program to normalize insulin levels:  The Metabolism Miracle and Metabolism Miracle Cookbook . You can join Facebook groups: Metabolism Miracle and Metabolism Miracle New Group, Follow DianeKress on Twitter and LinkedIn or join us on the interactive website:

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The Metabolism Miracle is the first medically based, scientifcally proven diet and lifestyle program written for the needs of the millions of people with the genes for Metabolic Syndrome (Met B). Weight loss, improved labs, less meds, more energy.
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Page Updated Last on: Oct 04, 2011
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