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Obesity, lack of exercise increases risk of rare and deadly form of breast cancer

Category: Breast

Women who are obese and get little physical activity may benefit from more frequent breast cancer testing. A new study has confirmed the link between a rare and often deadly type of breast cancer and obesity.

Researchers from the Women's Health Initiative reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention that women who are obese and inactive had a 35 percent higher chance of developing triple negative breast cancer.

This type of disease gets its name from the fact that tumors grow in the absence of high estrogen and progesterone levels and without expression of the HER2 gene, which are common causes of the cancer. Since most treatments for breast cancer target these causes, triple negative can be difficult to treat.

For the study, researchers examined the medical records of more than 155,000 women, took body mass index measurements and surveyed them about their activity levels. In addition to finding that inactive women are at greater risk, the study showed that activity can curb cancer risk.

The study confirms earlier more generalized studies about the risk of developing more common types of breast cancer that comes along with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

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