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HHS HealthBeat (October 19, 2012)

Breast cancer and weight

A woman looks worried as she reads the weight scale.
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Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

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

A study indicates many breast cancer patients have a higher risk of the cancer coming back, and of dying, if they are overweight or obese. At Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Dr. Joseph Sparano saw that in data on women in a multicenter study of breast cancer:

“Obesity was associated with increased risk in women with estrogen receptor positive, HER2 negative breast cancer, which is the most common subtype, that accounts for about two thirds of all breast cancers.”

Women who were obese when they were diagnosed had about 30 percent higher risk of a recurrence and about a 50 percent higher risk of death, even with the best methods of treatment.

The study in the journal Cancer 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 Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: October 19, 2012