Obesity raises breast cancer death rate by a third

The trendy studies suggesting that obesity is benign and can be healthy and does not cause damage are factually incorrect and very misleading.

What does the latest study tell us about one of the most deadly yet preventable modern lifestyle cancers on Planet Earth?

  • Younger women who are obese have a 34% higher risk of dying from their breast cancer
  • Obesity is significantly dangerous for younger women with hormone-positive breast cancer - the most common kind
  • Two-thirds of all breast tumors are fed by estrogen, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Fat cells produce estrogen
  • Around 36% of American women are obese and another third are overweight
  • Obesity is associated with almost all lifestyle cancers including esophagus, prostate, endometrium, colon, kidney, pancreas, thyroid and gallbladder
  • Breast cancer kills around 40,000 Americans every 12 months

No matter how we look at it, obesity is slated to replace tobacco as the leading modifiable risk for cancer.  Patients who are obese generally fare worse with cancer - in this case, younger women with breast cancer.  With some two-thirds of our nation’s adult population now obese or overweight, there’s simply no avoiding obesity as a complicating factor in cancer care.  Despite everyone knowing the truth of this, the levels of overweight and obesity continue to climb”
Dr Clifford Hudis, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) president and chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Medicine Service in New York, May 2014.

“We know the effect is definite and real.  We don’t know the mechanisms that underlie the association at the moment…”
Lead researcher Hongchao Pan, senior research fellow at the University of Oxford in the U.K., May 2014.

Study by Hongchao Pan and colleagues at Britain’s University of Oxford as presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology beginning May 30 in Chicago.  The research analysis of 70 clinical trials looked at data on 80,000 women with breast cancer.  As reported by nbcnews.com, Reuters and Bloomberg.com on May 15, 2014. 

Posted: Friday 23 May 2014