Type 2 diabetes associated with risk of aggressive breast cancer in black women

November 15, 2017

(Boston)-- African American women with type 2 diabetes (often referred to as adult-onset diabetes) are at a greater risk for developing breast cancer.

The findings appear in the journal Cancer Research.

Evidence has emerged in recent years that the two major subtypes of breast cancer--estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer--differ in some causes. Thus, the investigators focused on whether type 2 diabetes had differing associations with ER+ and ER- cancer.

The research was based on data of 54,337 African American women enrolled in Boston University's Black Women's Health Study who were cancer free at enrollment in the study in 1995 and were followed for up to 18 years. During follow-up, 914 ER+ cases and 468 ER- cases were identified.

African American women with type 2 diabetes were estimated to have a 43 percent increase in risk of ER- breast cancer relative to women without diabetes; in contrast, there was no increase in the risk of ER+ breast cancer among women with diabetes relative to women without diabetes. The increased risk of ER- breast cancer among women with diabetes was not explained by obesity status.

"While we observed no association for the most common type of breast cancer, the type that is responsive to estrogens, women with diabetes were estimated to be at increased risk of developing estrogen receptor negative breast cancer, a more aggressive type of breast cancer which is twice as common in U.S. black women as in white women," explained corresponding author Julie Palmer, ScD, associate director of Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center, professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, and associate director for population sciences at the BU-BMC Cancer Center.

According to Palmer plausible explanations for an increased risk of ER- breast cancer among women with diabetes include chronic inflammation resulting from diabetes which, among other actions, can promote carcinogenic processes. "Given that the prevalence of diabetes is twice as high in African Americans as in whites, the current finding, if confirmed, may help to explain the higher incidence of ER- breast cancer in African American women."
-end-
Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health and in part by the Dahod Breast Cancer Research Program at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Boston University School of Medicine

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.