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Excess weight elevates risk of breast cancer recurrence

Category: Breast

Excess weight may increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Montefiore Medical Center discovered that the risk of recurrence of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer tends to be higher among women who are overweight or obese, compared to the odds among smaller patients. This study may be relevant to individuals who screen positive for this malignancy through a lab test.

Experts have known that heavier women are more likely to die than normal-weight women after a new diagnosis of breast cancer. This new study adds to this knowledge by quantifying the risks of recurrent disease among patients who already underwent treatment for stage I-III illness.

"We found that obesity at diagnosis of breast cancer is associated with about a 30 percent higher risk of recurrence and a nearly 50 percent higher risk of death despite optimal treatment," said researcher Joseph Sparano, M.D. "Treatment strategies aimed at interfering with hormonal changes and inflammation caused by obesity may help reduce the risk of recurrence."

Other results showed that these effects increased with body mass index, affecting even subjects who were overweight but not obese.

Women who are unsure of their breast cancer risk can undergo a lab test to find out.

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