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Obesity Raises Breast Cancer Death Rate By a Third, Study Finds
Obesity Raises Breast Cancer Death Rate By a Third, Study Finds

Obesity Raises Breast Cancer Death Rate By a Third, Study Finds

Obesity was an independent risk factor for breast cancer mortality among premenopausal women with ER-positive disease, according to results of a meta-analysis.

Researchers did not observe the association among postmenopausal women with ER-positive disease, or in women with ER-negative disease.

“Obesity is reportedly associated with worse prognosis in early breast cancer, but this association could depend strongly on ER positivity and ovarian activity,” Hongchao Pan, PhD, lead study author and a researcher at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, said during a press conference. “Previously studies of this were inconclusive.”

Hongchao Pan, senior research fellow at the Oxford University, and his colleagues collected data on 80,000 women who suffered from breast cancer. During the study, the team found that obesity did not matter for women who were already past their menopause stage as well as those who had a hormone-negative breast cancer.

However, researchers said obesity is significantly dangerous for younger women and those who have the type of breast cancer that is fed by the hormone estrogen.

“It is a finding which is the exact opposite of what we have expected,” Pan said. “Among women who develop breast cancer, obesity is reportedly associated with somewhat worse prognosis.”
Medical experts said hormone-positive breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer.

One hypothesis made by researchers is that fat cells lead to the production of estrogen in a woman’s body, which, in turn, increases the risk of developing estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, according to health website West Side Story.

It is not clear if removing excess weight after being diagnosed with breast cancer will improve the health of the patient, researchers said.The research will be presented during the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago on May 31.

“Despite everyone knowing the truth of this, the levels of overweight and obesity in the U.S. continue to climb,” said Dr. Clifford Hudis, president of ASCO. “Knowing that it is a negative health factor in so many domains is not yet an effective way of changing behavior.”

Experts said more than a third of the women population in the United States suffers from obesity.

In the United States, breast cancer is listed as the second-leading cancer killer among women, after lung cancer, according to NBC News.

Medical experts said 200,000 women and a few men are diagnosed with breast cancer, while around 40,000 patients die from breast cancer each year.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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