Increasing Skirt Size Linked To Increased Breast Cancer Risk Interview with:
Professor Usha Menon,  Evangelia-Ourania Fourkala PhD
and Matthew Burrell PhD

Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, Women’s Cancer, UCL EGA
Institute for Women’s Health, University College London, UK

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Response: Our study has shown that skirt size is a good proxy for central obesity. Each unit increase in UK skirt size every ten years between the age of 20 and 60 was associated with a 33% increase in postmenopausal breast cancer in our cohort.

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Response: Among postmenopausal women, several studies but not all have shown waist circumference to be positively associated with increased breast cancer risk. We however knew of no studies examining changes in waist circumference. We were pleased  to find an association between skirt size change, which is easy to recall, and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: The key message is that change in skirt size is associated with breast cancer risk. Women need to maintain a healthy weight in adulthood.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further studies are needed to validate these findings and better understand the mechanisms between increased abdominal fat and increased breast cancer risk.

Association of skirt size and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in older women: a cohort study within the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS)

Evangelia-Ourania Fourkala, Matthew Burnell, Catherine Cox, Andy Ryan, Laura Currin Salter, Aleksandra Gentry-Maharaj, Mahesh Parmar, Ian Jacobs, Usha Menon

BMJ Open 2014;4:9 e005400 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005400