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HHS HealthBeat (January 20, 2012)

Obese and HER2

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Women with a more aggressive form of breast cancer may have even larger problems if they are obese – but treatment can make a big difference. At the Mayo Clinic, Jennifer Crozier examined data on women with early HER-2-positive breast cancer.

Crozier says obese women’s tumors were larger and had greater spread into parts of the circulatory system called the lymph nodes.

She says the drug Herceptin was so powerful that it equalized disease-free survival of obese and healthy-weight women. But she says:

``Weight management is an important part of breast cancer treatment. And having a healthy lifestyle prior to a diagnosis is going to be important for all of our patients.’’ (8 seconds)

The study presented at a breast cancer symposium was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 20, 2012