Obesity has been linked to numerous ailments and a new study just released suggests a link between postmenopausal women and an especially aggressive breast cancer that doesn’t depend on estrogen to grow.

The study looked at the body mass index (BMI), a measurement of height and weight, of 155,723 women between the ages 50 to 79 years of age…and the results were shocking.

Women with the highest BMIs had a 35 percent higher risk of developing the aggressive form of breast cancer known as triple-negative. Triple-negative breast cancer is marked by a lack of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 protein expression.

Those subjects were also more at risk of developing other forms of breast cancer as well.

The study followed the women for roughly eight years monitoring their BMIs, exercise habits and weight and height; 2,610 women developed estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, which is fueled by estrogen and 307 women developed triple-negative cancer.

“The new part of this is the triple-negative,” study leader Amanda Phipps, a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle said. “While the findings call for further study, there’s already reason to repeat the message that keeping a healthy weight is crucial with age.”

Just because the study focuses on postmenopausal women doesn’t mean the younger generations including women in their 20s and 30s should ignore the findings.

Good health begins in your early years. If you take the proper precautions now you won’t end up overweight or obese in your later years. How we take care of our bodies today makes all the difference in the years to come.

This study should come as an eye opener to all women. It should suggest and influence all ages to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.

One third of all cancer deaths are related to diet and activity factors.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women falling behind lung cancer. Women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing an invasive form of breast cancer during some point of their lives.

Men are also affected by breast cancer and should become aware of prevention and detection.

Do what you can now to help prevent the onset of breast cancer or any other form of cancer: maintain a healthy weight, stay physically active and eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.