Obesity linked to all types of breast cancer

May 22, 2006

According to a new study, women who gain weight in adulthood face a higher lifetime risk of all types of breast cancer even if they do not take hormone replacement therapy after menopause. Published in the July 1, 2006 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study reveals that the greater the weight gain as an adult, the greater the risk for all histological types, tumor stages, and grades of breast cancer, particularly advanced malignancies. The most extremely obese women were up to three times more likely to have regional or distant metastases than women with less weight gain. The study is the first to investigate the relationship between weight gain and type of breast cancer.

Breast cancer risk is linked to increased lifetime levels of circulating estrogen. Fat tissue increases circulating estrogen, thereby adding to the risk. Previous studies have shown, though, that the risk can be affected by other factors. Postmenopausal women who take hormone replacement therapy actually mitigate the effects of obesity on cancer risk. Moreover, current weight as defined by body mass index is not as important as a woman's weight gain from the age of 18.

While there is much literature on the risk of obesity and breast cancer, there is no data on whether that risk is specific for the type of breast cancer. Led by Heather Spencer Feigelson, Ph.D., M.P.H of the American Cancer Society, researchers investigated the risk between weight gain and type of invasive breast cancer among 44,161 postmenopausal women who were not taking hormone therapy.

The researchers found that the greater the weight gain, the greater the risk for all types, stages, and grades of breast cancer. Compared to women who gained 20 pounds or less during adulthood, women who gained over 60 pounds were almost twice as likely to have ductal type tumors and more than 1.5 times more likely to have lobular type cancers. The risk for metastatic disease increased for all women who gained weight, with the risk greater than three-fold for women who gained over 60 pounds. As expected, weight gain increased the risk of estrogen receptor positive tumors, but not of tumors that did not present estrogen receptors.

Dr. Feigelson and her colleagues conclude that "these data further illustrate the relationship between adult weight gain and breast cancer, and the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight through-out adulthood."
-end-
Article: "Adult Weight Gain and Histopathologic Characteristics of Breast Cancer among Postmenopausal Women," Heather Spencer Feigelson, Alpa V. Patel, Lauren R. Teras, Ted Gansler, Michael J. Thun, Eugenia E. Calle, CANCER; Published Online: May 22, 2006 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.21965); Print Issue Date: July 1, 2006.

Wiley

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.