While past studies have shown that biology and genetics play a large factor in explaining lower breast-cancer survival rates in black women, a new John Hopkins study sheds some light on what women can actually do to increase their chances of survival: Avoid gaining weight after diagnosis. The report found that for every 11 pounds of post-diagnosis weight gain, the risk of death rose by 14 percent. Women who gained more than 22 pounds after their breast-cancer diagnosis had an approximately 80 percent increase in death risk.

The researchers say that their results add to a growing body of evidence that shows that a balanced diet, exercise and other healthy post-diagnosis lifestyle factors can have a positive impact on breast-cancer survival.