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Obese Women Suffer From Breast Cancer More

Armen Hareyan's picture

Overweight or obese women have more aggressive forms of breast cancer that those with normal weight. They also have higher risk for cancer repetition later.

A team of scientists from Department of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre examined 606 women with 'locally advanced breast cancer'. Women were divided into three groups according to their body mass index: normal or underweight, overweight, and obese.

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"The more obese a patient is, the more aggressive the disease," said Massimo Cristofanilli from University of Texas. "We are learning that the fat tissue may increase inflammation that leads to more aggressive disease."

Study found that fatty body tissues define how aggressive breast cancer can be. Five year survival rate was found to be 56.8% in obese women, 56.3% in overweight women, and 67.4% in normally weighted women. Ten year survival rate was found to be 42.7% in obese women, 41.8% in overweight women, and 56.5% in normally weighted women.

The study also showed higher rates of more aggressive types of disease, such as inflammatory breast cancer, among overweight women. Obese women have 45% risk for developing IBC, compared to 30% of overweight women and 15% of women with normal weight.

This study means that obesity is not just a matter of how we look. It can seriously affect health and make diseases worse. The study also urges doctors to be more watchful while treating obese patients, because some of breast cancer treatment drugs even stimulate weight gain.