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Physical inactivity and obesity increase the risk of breast cancer

Posted Mar 21 2011 12:25pm

A recent report published by Cancer Epidemiology, states that obese women have a 35% higher risk of developing triple negative breast cancer and a 39% higher risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. 

Triple negative breast cancer is characterised by a lack of progesterone and estrogen and because few effective medications currently exist, triple negative breast cancer tends to have poorer outcomes. 

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center collected information from 155,723 women. This included 2,610 women who had estrogen receptor positive breast cancer and 307 who had triple negative breast cancer. The study compared the levels of Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical activity amongst the women in relation to the risk of breast cancer. 

The findings identified that those with the highest BMI had a 35% higher chance of developing triple negative breast cancer and a 39% higher chance of developing receptor positive breast cancer.  However, when looking at women who lead healthy lifestyles, those who had the most activity had a 23% lower risk of developing negative breast cancer and a 15% lower risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

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