Obesity linked with poorer breast cancer survival
[Health India]: Washington, Feb 01 : High weight prior to breast cancer diagnosis or weight gain after the diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of disease recurrence or death due to the disease, reveals a new study.
The research published in the online edition of Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that to evaluate the relationship between weight gain and breast cancer survival, researchers examined detailed lifestyle and medical history information of 5,204 breast cancer patients over 24 years.
During the course of study they separated smokers from non- smokers, which no prior study had done, and used body mass index (BMI) – the ratio of a person’s height in meters to their weight in kilograms – to classify women as normal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9), overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9), or obese (a BMI above 30).
“Combining smokers and non-smokers in analyses may mask the true relationship between weight and survival after a breast cancer diagnosis, since smoking is generally related to both lower levels of weight and a higher risk of death overall,” said Candyce Kroenke, ScD, of the Department of Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and lead author of the study.
Researchers also computed change in weight before and after diagnosis and classified women as losing weight, maintaining weight, gaining a modest amount of weight, and gaining a substantial amount of weight.
They found that women who were overweight prior to breast cancer diagnosis, or who were lean but gained weight following diagnosis, were twice as likely to have their disease return or die of the disease; but this was particularly evident in women who had never smoked.
Dr. Kroenke said that women recently diagnosed with breast cancer or at high risk for the disease should take steps to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of recurrence and death. (ANI)