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Going up a dress size every ten years can increase a woman’s chance of breast cancer by 33 per cent, new British research shows. The chance of developing breast cancer jumps up to 77 per cent if a woman goes up two dress sizes in a decade.

University College London academics carried out the study and say they have found strong links between the amount of fat stored around the waist and the risk of tumours forming.

The findings that there is a link between being overweight and cancer is nothing new, with numerous studies focused on the subject. Previous work into the area has also found that fat tissues release oestrogen, which triggers the tumours.

Why you need to watch your tummy fat 
The new study focuses on the weight gained around the stomach, which has been found to be particularly harmful, compared to extra pounds on the upper arms, thighs or bottom. It has found that tummy fat produces more oestrogen than any other part of the body.

The results have been published in journal BMJ Open, with the research focusing on the records of 93,000 women in their 50s and 60s, who had been through the menopause. Each had to complete a form on their lifestyle, going into detail about height, weight, smoking and drinking habits, among other things.

Their dress size from when they were 25 to their current age was also compared.

Participants were tracked for two years, and how many developed breast cancer was also recorded. From the findings it was determined that going up a dress size was the single most important aspect in whether a woman got breast cancer or not.

Going up one dress size in a decade between the ages of 25 to 65 increased the risk by 33 per cent, and going up two sizes increased the risk by 77 per cent.

However they also found if a woman were to drop a dress size in ten years, her chances would go down by 33 per cent.

Not all experts agree with the outcome though, and say findings are unreliable as some may not accurately remember their dress size from when they were younger. © Cover Media