Obesity Increases the Risk of Recurrence of Breast Cancer

by Anne Trueman on  September 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
The chances of breast cancer recurring are higher in obese women as compared to thinner females, according to a study.

Researchers have revealed that overweight women have bad outcomes from breast cancer.
 Obesity Increases the Risk of Recurrence of Breast Cancer
Obesity Increases the Risk of Recurrence of Breast Cancer

The inflammation caused by the surplus body fat and hormonal changes possibly promote the recurrence of breast cancer.

Earlier, it was presumed that inadequate treatment with chemotherapy drugs was responsible for increased risk of recurrence in overweight individuals. Treatment was thought to be inadequate since obese women received drug doses aimed at slimmer patients.

Dr. Joseph Sparano, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Montefiore Medical Center in New York, who conducted a recent research involving around 7,000 women patients, said, "'We found that obesity at diagnosis is associated with about a 30 per cent higher risk of recurrence and a nearly 50 per cent higher risk of death, despite optimal treatment." The study was published in CANCER, a journal of the American Cancer Society.

 The volunteers had normal kidney, heart, bone marrow and liver function. This helped the scientists to disentangle the association of obesity from other factors.

It was noticed that a higher body mass index (BMI) considerably increased the risk of breast cancer recurrence and premature death despite hormonal therapy and chemotherapy.

Dr. Sparano mentioned that increasing weight leads to greater risk of recurrence via higher insulin levels.

It was uncertain if losing weight after diagnosis could cut the risk of recurrence, but some studies suggest this approach reduces insulin levels, which might be effective.

Catherine Priestley, who is a clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care stated, 'We know a healthy weight is beneficial for reducing the risk of a range of health conditions.

"So, while this study may be useful, it's important to put this into perspective. There are a number of key features of breast cancer that will influence the risk of it coming back and each person's predicted outlook will vary.

"For those who have been diagnosed, there is emerging evidence that maintaining a healthy weight, as well as being physically active may help reduce the risk of the disease returning.

"However, this can be really difficult as weight gain can be a common side-effect of treatment."

Dr, Stuart Griffiths, the head of commissioned research, Breast Cancer Campaign was of the opinion that the findings of the study provided sufficient evidences of obesity having a harmful and detrimental effect on the breast cancer recurrence. After menopause, the risk of breast cancer can be diminished by maintaining healthy body weight.

 It is extremely important to control increasing weight as obesity can increase the chances of breast cancer.

Source: Medindia

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