Obesity Increases Risk of Advanced Stages of Breast Cancer
Posted Sep 20 2010 7:05am
As I have mentioned in several other blog posts, being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for developing breast cancer . For example, research studies have reported that being overweight can increase breast cancer risk by about 50% and gaining more than 10 lbs as an adult can increase breast cancer risk by about 60%. This relationship between being overweight or obese and increased breast cancer risk appears to be due to the dramatically higher levels of growth and inflammation factors in obese patients.
New breast cancer research has explored the possible relationship between obesity and the risk for advanced stages of breast cancer. In this new breast cancer study, investigators examined pathological, clinical, and demographic information from 831 women diagnosed with their first primary invasive breast cancer. Relationships between body mass index and breast cancer stage and grade were analyzed. The breast cancer researchers reported that compared to normal weight women, obese women had an 80% greater risk of developing advanced stages (Stage III and IV) of breast cancer. Additionally, obese women had an 80% greater risk of having a poorly differentiated grade of breast cancer.
The results of this new breast cancer research provides us with important information regarding the relationship between obesity and breast cancer severity. Based on this study, being obese puts a person at greater risk for more severe stages of breast cancer. Additionally, being obese puts a person at increased risk for a higher grade of breast cancer tumors . Poorly differentiated breast cancers are generally considered to be more aggressive and breast cancer patients with poorly differentiated breast cancers typically have a worse prognosis. Overall, these study results continue to confirm the link between obesity and breast cancer risk and emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight throughout life.