New study reveals that obesity leads to breast cancer

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It’s no secret that obesity leads to myriad health complications and is one of the most concerning health issues of the future.

Medical science has long known that obesity can contribute to an increased risk of cancer, but a new study shows how it specifically applies to breast cancer in men and women.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center believe their study is the first to provide evidence that obesity can alter the genes involved in our body’s inflammatory response, hereditary disorders and other immunological diseases.

A team of geneticists, cell biologists, medical oncologists and epidemiologists examined tissue samples collected from 121 women with no history of breast cancer, 51 of whom were considered clinically obese.

When examining obesity and inflammation response, they found that obese women were more likely to have sporadic gene mutations involved in diseases and disorders for inflammatory response, hereditary disorder and immunological disease.

“Different types of breast cancer could be affected differently by obesity, a more robust understanding of how obesity triggers inflammatory cancer pathways and increases breast cancer risk could help us develop better or earlier prevention strategies in women at increased risk based on their weight,” said senior study author Dr Peter Shields.

Health professionals advise that watching your weight is of the utmost importance, but also suggest that to decrease your chances of breast cancer, you could take a low-dose aspirin each day and cut back on alcohol.

Were you aware of the link between cancer and obesity? Will such knowledge mean you take better care of your weight?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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67 Comments

Total Comments: 67
  1. 0
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    After watching Insight’s (SBS) program “Wine O”‘Clock” the other evening, it would seem that alcohol is also a major contributing factor to breast cancer in women. Perhaps the combination of extra weight and alcohol as contributing factors needs to be addressed by researchers and doctors more thoroughly?

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      I also watched Insight Tuesday night, I was gobsmacked at the amount of alcohol those women could put away eg half a slab of beer on a Friday night, half a cask of wine, one even drank almost 90 bottles of a cider a week and knocked off 5 (FIVE!) bottles of wine on the last night she drank!! Even more alarming is the fact that these seemingly intelligent women seemed blissfully unaware of the associated health problems with alcohol consumption, especially the older lady. It was certainly engaging viewing.

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      Shame on you DrPolymath and Tib – you are both off topic and are extraordinarily judgmental.
      I am sorry after so many years on this earth you neither want equality for the female population nor do you believe their plight.
      Aggression, nasty behaviour and the need to dominate are not solely owned by the male population – that is true. However strength and society and its culture have given men an unbalanced level of power that makes the female populations ability to get out from under very difficult.
      Enjoy the fact you have been born male in a wealthy country with so many options available to you and stop condemning others.

  2. 0
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    Could be, may be? No one knows which is why there is no cure yet. The women I’ve known with breast cancer have been all shapes and sizes. However, they all felt guilty that somehow they contributed to their illness. They don’t need another study to add to that.

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      Obesity is an epidemic in the West (and increasingly so in third-world countries like India). What’s needed is more research into WHY. I believe it has a lot to do with the proliferation of fast food, in conjunction with stress triggering a desire for ‘comfort food’ which is usually high in calories and low in nutrition.

      “They don’t need another study to add to that.”

      No – as I said, MORE study is needed, not less. ‘Fat shaming’ does have positive results. I know: I used to be morbidly obese until I was shamed into motivating myself to lose weight. Better to feel guilty and change than to drop dead or die of terminal cancer…

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      There is NOTHING POSITIVE about fat shaming. One can discuss weight problems without personally abusing a person. You have no idea why some people are obese. If you study the reasons, perhaps then you will change your behaviour.

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      “There is NOTHING POSITIVE about fat shaming”.

      I am the living proof that you are WRONG.

      “One can discuss weight problems without personally abusing a person.”

      Obviously. But fat shaming is not necessarily abusive.

      “You have no idea why some people are obese.”

      Wrong again. People become fat because their calorie input exceeds their output (through exercise), or because of metabolic/hormonal reasons. The psychology behind overeating is a separate issue.

      “If you study the reasons, perhaps then you will change your behaviour.”

      I have studied the reasons. What is the behaviour to which you refer? There is no valid reason why I should modify my behaviour. But YOUR behaviour – e.g. flagrantly flaunting your ignorance and judgementalism – STINKS.

  3. 0
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    If obesity leads to breast cancer, then why don’t I have it at 61? Yet a young lady I know is as skinny as a rake had it in her early 30s?

    Considering alcohol, then I have no chance, as I don’t drink it!

  4. 0
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    Absolutely ridiculous comment – obesity is a totally separate issue and does NOT relate to breast cancer – I have had four relatives that have died of breast cancer and not one of them was obese in fact they were the opposite. Heavens nowadays everything causes cancer even bacon…………get real.

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      “obesity is a totally separate issue”.

      Yes.

      “… and does NOT relate to breast cancer.”

      Sorry, but you cannot know that Researchers are demonstrating that it does.

      ” I have had four relatives that have died of breast cancer and not one of them was obese”

      Sorry to hear that. But your observation is illogical: They died because of some other cause; that by no means rule out obesity as a genuine cause.

      “.get real.”

      Take your own advice.

    • 0
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      Pat’s comment is very true and this article is misleading. There is a correlation between dense breast tissue and the likelihood of breast cancer. Dense breast tissue is not related to obesity.
      If they wish to tag a correlation between obesity and breast cancer I think I would look at the foods causing the obesity rather than the obesity itself.
      The foods making our population overweight are full of trans fats, sugars and chemicals. That’s where I would be concentrating the research. Why is the population having a weight explosion not what are the effects of a weight explosion?

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      Researchers might be demonstrating that it does, DrPolymath, but researchers start out with a hypothesis and then set about trying to prove that it’s true. With the number of writers knowing thin people who have died of breast cancer it would seem that if the researchers had started off with the opposite hypothesis the end result would be that breast cancer attacks skinny frames.

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      As a researcher myself, I can tell you that research is an eristic issue indeed. But you mischaracterize genuine research somewhat in your post, which starts out with an idea, then unbiasedly looks at as much evidence as possible to see whether that idea is supported or not by that evidence. Statistics also play an important role. One can easily be guilty of ‘confirmation bias’, but that is never the fruits of good research.

  5. 0
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    As many men die of prostate cancer as women do of breast cancer. And yet we never hear about that fact. Why? It’s because men are the disposable sex, while women are sacred cows. No wonder men’s life expectancy is 7 years (or so) less than women’s.

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      So you want an article on obese men getting prostate cancer? I think this is a horrible article and any woman out there who has been diagnosed with breast cancer would find this horrible to read.
      There are not many articles on prostate cancer because men don’t like talking about it and they would probably just click the change of channel button on the TV.
      Women live longer than men because its genetic.
      Cheer up – its the weekend and there is so much to do!

    • 0
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      More crap from you Rosret.

      “There are not many articles on prostate cancer because men don’t like talking about it…”

      Self-evidently a LIE, because I – a male – am talking about it here.

      “… they would probably just click the change of channel button on the TV.”

      What an absolutely asinine assumption!

      “Women live longer than men because its genetic.”

      Rubbish! Women live longer because they avoid being put in harm’s way. Men die by the thousands as combatants in wars; women do not. Male suicide is far higher than women’s. Men do the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs – women do not.

    • 0
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      I wonder why you called yourself Polymath, DrPolymath. Your so-called wide knowledge and learning seems to be very thin when it comes to diplomacy, tact,
      basic good manners and a host of other atributes, qualities that I would have expected from someone so highly learned and knowledgeable.

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      Triss, I am a genuine polymath. However – diplomacy is the enemy of truth; tact consists of weasel words. I have not lacked your so-called “good manners” (yours seem to be lacking, actually), and what are the “host of other atributes [sic]”, that you claim I lack? A high degree of learning and erudition, both of which I have in spades, does not necessarily correlate with mildness. They do, however, match intellectual rigour – which you demonstrably lack because you have resorted to an ad-hominem attack on me.

    • 0
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      I really can’t believe you’ve written that.

    • 0
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      Believe it. It happens to be true – all of it.

    • 0
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      Triss it is perplexing. I am wondering with whom we are conversing. Keystrokes are wasted here.

    • 0
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      Wonder away, Rosrat. I am perplexed over what exactly I am dealing with here. My keystrokes are wasted on a creature that is so clearly intellectually challenged, you poor pet.

    • 0
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      Quote Rosret: “Triss it is perplexing. I am wondering with whom we are conversing. Keystrokes are wasted here.”

      There is enough information to google this person “Dr Polymath”, go ahead and you will find your answers. It will all become clear.

    • 0
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      Indeed it will. But not everything that’s written about me is fact. And there are several DrPolymath monikers turned up by Google – none of them me. As usual, KIAH is full of sh*t. He/she/it is also a coward who hides behind a false name. At least I gave hints to my real name.

      I’m tired of dealing with this scumbag (and others of similar ilk like Rosrat).

  6. 0
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    So, a study of 121 women should have all overweight women in the world popping down to see Jenny Craig. But wait, the study shows that obese women were “more likely” to be affected, not “are” affected. And this paragraph “Different types of breast cancer could be affected differently by obesity, a more robust understanding of how obesity triggers inflammatory cancer pathways and increases breast cancer risk could help us develop better or earlier prevention strategies in women at increased risk based on their weight.” is also full of disclaimers and if read carefully could be considered as an application for more funding.

    When an in-depth study of a large number of people is done and is favourably peer reviewed then I can more readily accept the findings. We know that tobacco is bad for one as exhaustive tests have been confirming the toxicity and agreement has been reached amongst professionals. We also know that alcohol when used to excess is dangerous because, again, exhaustive studies have been carried out.

    • 0
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      Statisticians will tell you that large numbers are not needed. What is needed is a representative sample. As a former university lecturer and researcher myself, I concur with you about peer-reviewed studies. However, peer review is not without its faults. There’s no perfect system.

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      Statisticians are NOT scientists. They can be more likened as service providers for scientists when scientists have data. Some call themselves “data scientists” which is just a made up title.

      Scientists study observable physical phenomenon in a particular domain, and as part of that study, they collect data and need someone to help interpret it (a statistician). A good scientist on the other hand requires at least some knowledge of statistics.

      I shouldn’t have to tell you this, if as you say you are a scientist, you must be aware of this.

    • 0
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      You ignoramus, Kish. A proper statistician employs the scientific method. *Ipso facto*, then, they ARE scientists. Anyway, I didn’t originally claim that they were: all I wrote was that “Statisticians will tell you that large numbers are not needed”. Try getting your eyes and your comprehension repaired. (At least the former might be possible; I have grave doubts about the latter, though…)

      “Scientists study observable physical phenomenon in a particular domain”.

      By that narrow definition, you must also believe that pure mathematicians are not scientists either. Oh dear…

      “… they collect data and need someone to help interpret it (a statistician)”.

      Again, you overlook mathematicians.

      “I shouldn’t have to tell you this, if as you say you are a scientist…”

      Show me exactly where I made that claim. You cannot because I did not do so in this forum.

      Go back to kindergarten.

    • 0
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      You have never left “kindergarten” Dr Polywaffle.

      Please let me know where I can read your peer reviewed “scholarly” articles.

    • 0
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      You never even made it to kindergarten, Schiessenkopf.

      “Please let me know where I can read your peer reviewed “scholarly” articles.”

      Thet’re all uploaded on Google Drive, Scribd and Academia.edu. You will find quite a few in “The Problemist” (the journal of the British Chess Problem Society, of which I am a Fellow).

  7. 0
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    No no no no. I was 39, 165cm and weighed 54kgs when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I hate these stories that blame the patient for the disease. What I didn’t know, because it hadnt been discovered yet, was that I had the BRCA2 gene fault. I did nothing wrong, hardly drank, ate healthy food, had my first child at 17 and breastfed all 4 children. I spent the first few years after diagnosis wondering what I had done to deserve this. We don’t need to be told it’s our own fault, because mostly it isn’t!

  8. 0
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    Despite the individual anecdotal comments here (anecdotes are not evidence) it simply cannot be denied that obesity is a causal factor in many of today’s diseases breast cancer included. It is NOT the only cause but it is ONE cause! The science is unequivocal on that.

    • 0
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      “Anecdotes are not evidence”.

      Not necessarily true. Anecdotes in sufficient quantity, that point in the same direction and satisfy certain statistical criteria, DO constitute evidence.

    • 0
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      KSS its not a cause. It maybe a contributing factor to those predisposed to getting the condition.
      “They” don’t have the evidence either DrPM and if enough people on this site quote all the people they know who are not obese and have been treated for breast cancer then they stop being anecdotal comments and start being statistical fact.

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      Which makes “evidence” a very tricky proposition. Glad you agree.

  9. 0
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    Don’t eat, don’t drink, don’t stay up too late, don’t breathe. Good grief. I know lots of thin women who get breast cancer. Angelina Jolie and Olivia Newton John are so fat and so unkempt!! Really – stick to reality.
    Obese people have EVERY organ failure because everything gets clogged up.
    Breast cancer happens for a number of reasons. If they put the focus on obesity they won’t cure breast cancer just obesity.

    • 0
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      What are your medical qualifications, Rosret? And are you qualified in statistics? (Somehow, I think the answer to both of these questions will be ‘no’.)

    • 0
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      And what are your “medical qualifications” DrPolymath? I am amused by your comments “Dr Polymath” and astonished at your rudeness. So you are a “polymath?” Well then in my experience a person who sits around bragging about their polymath skills would fit the description of “scatterbrain” not a polymath. Let’s put it this way, a real polymath does not need to announce it to the world, it’s a title given to them by other experts. I usually judge people by the quality of their answers and having read yours, I am not impressed.

      Now to answer the question in the topic which is “Were you aware of the link between cancer and obesity? Will such knowledge mean you take better care of your weight?”

      My answer to that is yes, I am aware of that risk factor, but obesity can also be a risk factor for many other diseases. There are many other risk factors which the real experts believe can be contributing factors to breast cancer: among them..a person’s family history, hormones and menstrual history, overuse of alcohol, lifestyle and also even some environmental factors.

      Some of these circumstances we cannot control, but there are some things we can change, like watching our weight, exercising, limiting alcohol intake and getting regular checks especially if you have a family history of breast cancer.

    • 0
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      Kiah – yet another idiot to deal with and dismiss.

      “And what are your “medical qualifications” DrPolymath?”

      None of your goddamned business.

      “I am amused by your comments…”

      Oh goody! I wrote them just for your amusement.

      “…and astonished at your rudeness.”

      Get stuffed. Who the hell died and made you the Manner Arbiter of the Universe?

      “So you are a “polymath?””.

      I am indeed. I have postgraduate qualifications and/or decades of experience in a vast number of mainly intellectual pursuits, such as music, mathematics, philosophy, cosmology, theology, chess composition and so forth.

      “Well then in my experience a person who sits around bragging about their polymath skills…”

      Prior to this, all I said was that I am a polymath. If you regard that as “bragging”, then you are indeed a moron.

      “… would fit the description of “scatterbrain” not a polymath.”

      Only to one intellectually retarded, as you self-evidently are.

      “Let’s put it this way, a real polymath does not need to announce it to the world, it’s a title given to them by other experts.”

      … Which numerous experts I know personally have indeed done.

      “I usually judge people by the quality of their answers and having read yours, I am not impressed.”

      Who is a NOBODY like you to sit in judgement of me. And having read YOUR post, I’m TOTALLY unimpressed and underwhelmed.

      Now piss off.

    • 0
      0

      Certainly not going to waste time on you but will post this comment you wrote a day ago which sums up your behaviour:’

      DrPolymath
      14th Oct 2017
      11:04pm
      report Wonder away, Rosrat. I am perplexed over what exactly I am dealing with here. My keystrokes are wasted on a creature that is so clearly intellectually challenged, you poor pet.

      Clearly, you are describing yourself, yes?

    • 0
      0

      “Certainly not going to waste time on you…”

      You already did, you fool.

      “Clearly, you are describing yourself, yes?”

      No – I am describing you.

      If you think somebody (me) who has written 5 scholarly monographs, has a PhD and is a university medallist happens to be “intellectually challenged” then you are self-evidently delusional. Run along and take your meds, you poor child.

    • 0
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      Yes, and I received 5 Nobel Peace prizes and am toasted at every literary dinner in the world and I have written umpteen best sellers and like you, I am sitting in front of a screen and can write any amount of TWADDLE, just like you.

      You amuse me!!

    • 0
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      The fact that you think I am lying shows that you are really delusional. Here are the name of the 5 monographs:

      1. The Avant-Garde Recorder;
      2. Recorder Unlimited;
      3. A World of Becoming;
      4. Problem Billabong (from Australian Chess 2003-2007);
      5. Greek Fire: An Introduction to Gematria and Isopsephia within the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

      “I am sitting in front of a screen and can write any amount of TWADDLE”

      That’s precisely what you have done.

      You definitely do NOT amuse me. I find your idiocy exasperating.

    • 0
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      Are they all under the name of “DrPolymath” or Dr Polywaffle?

    • 0
      0

      Neither. Giving my initials only: I. S. Look them up yourself, if you know how, you dolt. Try using Google. On the other hand, you’d be wasting your time, as their contents would be light years above your plasmodeal brain.

      Like a bad dose of the clap, you just don’t go away.

    • 0
      0

      I have already tried and your initials are not there. Try again!

      Have never had the “clap” I wouldn’t know how it affects people, so I looked it up and had a few suspicions confirmed about the way you speak to people.

    • 0
      0

      “I have already tried and your initials are not there.”

      That’s because I didn’t use my initials there but, rather, my full name, dummy.

      “I wouldn’t know how it affects people, so I looked it up and had a few suspicions confirmed about the way you speak to people.”

      If you are (ineptly) insinuating that I’ve had it, then you are 100% mistaken.

      Now drop dead.

    • 0
      0

      I have no interest in whatever you call yourself, you can be whatever you want to be.You can believe yourself to be the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci for all I care.

      My only interest in joining this thread today is because I have been appalled by your behaviour and your total disrespect for the topic by putting out the wrong message and sincerely hope no one takes you seriously.

      You are not credible at all and I will not be as despicable as you to wish someone dead, but will say this GROW UP!!! Reverting to insults, name calling etc only means you have nothing to offer.

    • 0
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      “I have no interest in whatever you call yourself”

      Obviously you do, because you have made so many stupid comments about it.

      “You can believe yourself to be the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci for all I care.”

      I don’t give a rat’s arse what you believe or care about. But for the record, I don’t believe in reincarnation.

      “My only interest in joining this thread today is because I have been appalled by your behaviour and your total disrespect for the topic by putting out the wrong message and sincerely hope no one takes you seriously.”

      Clearly WRONG – again. You are deeply interested in abusing me. And I am far more appalled at your behaviour. Yes, I DO do have total disrespect for you because of YOUR antics. You do not comprehend my message; hence you are incapable of adjudging it. Clearly you take me seriously, given the verbal diarrhoea you have trotted out in response to my posts.

      “You are not credible at all…”

      Only to an ignorant git like you.

      “… and I will not be as despicable as you to wish someone dead”.

      Oh diddums! Your demise would increase the average national IQ, which would be a good thing.

      “but will say this GROW UP!!!”

      Take your own advice, schiessenkopf.

      “Reverting to insults, name calling etc only means you have nothing to offer.”

      They’re not insults; they’re totally accurate descriptors of you. You reveal your HYPOCRISY by calling me names like DrPolywaffle. And thereby show that YOU have nothing to offer but empty idiotic bluster. Now sod off.

    • 0
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      It helped tremendously giving those initials, because I have found out the real reason behind your dreadful behaviour. “Tickler” rings any bells? Enough said. I am doing some research work into the causes of hypomania and this is all very revealing for me.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Goodbye.

    • 0
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      “It helped tremendously giving those initials, because I have found out the real reason behind your dreadful behaviour. “Tickler” rings any bells?”

      What the hell are you going on about? More ad-hominems and attempts at character assassination apparently. You’re wearing your delusions on your sleeve – again.

      “I am doing some research work into the causes of hypomania and this is all very revealing for me.”

      How nice for you. For your information, hypomania is one aspect of Bipolar disorder. Being a genuine polymath, this just happens to be something that I know. You’d be better off, however, researching the causes for being a major pain in the arse, thence applying the results to yourself.

      “Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday.”

      I have so far, and will continue doing so.

      “Goodbye.”

      It would be fantastic if you truly meant that. But to you I say…

      Good riddance.

    • 0
      0

      .

      Quote: “What the hell are you going on about? “

      Come on now, your memory can’t be that bad! 2004 is not such a long time ago!

      .

    • 0
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      My memory is almost eidetic, fool. The article to which you refer is a network of LIES. But, being the moron that you are, you must believe everything you read… By the way, that article was later shown in to be total bullshit. So your attempted besmirchment of me fails, as one would expect from a failure and loser such as yourself.

      Now run along and play in the traffic, infant.

  10. 0
    0

    The research shows only that obesity can be a risk factor in developing breast cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean that obese women will necessarily get breast cancer as we know that many women without that risk factor will develop breast cancer.

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