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Obesity increases the chances of getting breast cancer back

Obesity increases the chances of getting breast cancer back

By Cara Murez
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Most people know obesity can lead diabetes or heart disease, but excessive weight can play a role cancerthe researchers also say.

A new study has found this breast cancer who are alive overweight they have a statistically significant risk of having a second primary cancer – one that has nothing to do with previous cancer.

The risk is likely to be the risk factors shared between the two cancers — one of which is obesity — as well as genetic sensitivity and long-term effects. treatment of breast cancer, said the authors of the study.

“The risk is similar to what we would see in the face of early breast cancer,” said Heather Spencer Feigelson, Aurora, principal investigator at the Colorado Institute for Health Research at the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute. “It simply came to our notice then [excess weight] it’s really important. “

For the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 6,500 women treated at the Kaiser Permanente in Colorado and Washington state. Roughly equal percentages were normal weight, overweight, and obesity.


The women had one invasive breast cancer he had a low but significantly higher risk of developing cancer body mass index (BMI) has increased, the study found. (BMI is a calculation of body fat based on height and weight.)

The researchers said this link was more pronounced when the analysis focused on obesity-related second or second breast cancers. It was the strongest link to diagnose second breast cancer with positive estrogen receptors.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer reports that some of the 14 cancers associated with obesity are common and others are more difficult to treat, Feigelson said.

The researchers found that 822 women (almost 13%) developed secondary cancer after a follow-up of just over seven years. Of these, almost 62% were obesity-related cancers and 40% were breast cancers.

508 cancers associated with obesity were 283 post-menopausal breast cancers; 70 colon / rectal cancers; 68 cancers of the uterus; 21 cancers of the ovary; 23 cancers of the pancreas; and 14 kidney cancers. There were less than 10 cases in each thyroid, esophagus, gallbladder, multiple myeloma, meningioma, liver and upper stomach cancer.


While being overweight seems to increase the risk, shedding pounds and maintaining them reduces the risk because losing weight is hard, Feigelson said.

“Science suggests, yes, that if you lose weight you should reduce the risk, but really the best research … is the studies of women who have achieved bariatrics. [weight-loss] those who have surgery and lose that amount of weight have a lower risk of cancer, ”Feigelson said.

About 55% of all cancers in women occur in those who are overweight or obese.

Feigelson noted that there are many risk factors for breast cancer that women cannot do much about.

“For example, for these second breast cancers or for these second post-breast cancer, one of the risk factors is treatment, and of course you don’t have to stop treatment,” he said. “But that’s something that women can be in control of. And I think if you’re worried about cancer or you’re alive with cancer, having these things that you can control and do can be very important to you.”


Building healthy habits in your daily life can help prevent cancer. Keep your body weight healthy, be active and don’t sit so much, Feigelson advised.

The findings were recently published Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers noted that one limitation of the study was the lack of diversity, as about 82% of the participants were white women.

Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, director of the Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, reviewed the findings.

“I think this article makes sense because it’s important to think about losing weight after being diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said.

Being overweight affects many people’s body, increasing insulin and other metabolic markers and increasing inflammation levels, Ligibel said. It probably also depresses the immune system, he added.

He also noted that being overweight raises the level of sex hormones that can also cause some types of cancer.


“It’s probably not the only thing, but a complex interaction between different systems,” said Ligibel, in another study investigating whether a weight loss program within breast cancer treatment can lead to lower rates of new cancers.

For many years, the American Cancer Society has stated that it has made recommendations on nutrition, physical activity, and weight to prevent cancer and keep cancer alive. They are trying to gain and maintain a healthy weight.

“Unfortunately, [a lot of people have] he gained weight in the forties of the last few years and everything else, but I think that’s a goal we really need to think about on a social level, ”Ligibel said.

More information

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention learn more about the causes and effects adult obesity.

SOURCES: Heather Spencer Feigelson, Ph.D., cancer epidemiologist and principal investigator, Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research, Aurora, Colo; Jennifer Ligibel, MD, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and director, Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapy and Healthy Living, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Journal of the National Cancer Institute, April 5, 2021

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