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Obesity linked to breast cancer recurrence

Category: Breast

Women who are obese may be more likely to receive a positive breast cancer test, according to a new study presented at the Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society. A survey of nearly 4,000 breast cancer survivors showed that those who were overweight were significantly more likely to die from a recurrence of the condition.

The City of Hope National Medical Center researchers who conducted the study said that their findings may point to hormones as the cause of increased cancer risk among obese women. Obesity was most strongly correlated with an increased chance of dying from breast cancer recurrence in those with estrogen receptor-positive tumors, compared to those with estrogen receptor-negative cancer.

Given the fact that obese women are known to have higher average levels of estrogen, the researchers concluded that the two factors may be linked.

"This relationship between dying and being obese or overweight may depend on whether the type of breast cancer is hormonally dependent," said Christina Dieli-Conwright.

Regardless of the cause, the researchers recommended that any woman who is overweight make efforts to shed their extra pounds as part of any breast cancer risk-mitigating process.  

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