Scientists say many overweight women are unaware that they are raising their risk of cancer simply by being fat.
Losing just five per cent of flab in middle-age cuts the chances by a quarter.
Experts blame poor lifestyle for fuelling a 72 per cent rise in breast cancer rates since the 1970s.
More than two million women aged 50 to 70 attend NHS tumour screening annually and seven in 10 of them are too fat.
None is currently given advice on how to cut breast cancer odds.
To reduce this rate, health officials are encouraging women to work on their weight. Overweight and obese women should slim down at breast screening.
Prof. Annie Anderson, of Dundee University revealed that if medics tell their patients that they are overweight, they are more likely to quit from their unhealthy habits.
Many women are still unaware that their lifestyle affects breast cancer. The risk can be reduced with proper lifestyle and good habits. Anderson believes that the best time to offer lifestyle lectures is during screening.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, agrees. “It is right to use breast screening episodes to lecture women,” he said. “Disastrously, there is a cult in the NHS that women will be upset and frightened off if the subject of weight is broached. How stupid – many will suffer from the omission.”
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in females worldwide. It accounts for 16% of all female cancers and 22.9% of invasive cancers in women. 18.2% of all cancer deaths worldwide, including both males and females, are from breast cancer.
Breast cancer rates are much higher in developed nations compared to developing ones. There are several reasons for this, with possibly life-expectancy being one of the key factors – breast cancer is more common in elderly women; women in the richest countries live much longer than those in the poorest nations. The different lifestyles and eating habits of females in rich and poor countries are also contributory factors, experts believe.
Mirror reported that over 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and this resulted in 12,000 casualties every year.