Obesity Affects Breast Cancer Outcomes
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which included over 53,000 women in Denmark, showed that the risk of distant metastasis from breast cancer was increased 46% in obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and the risk of dying of breast cancer was increased by 38% after 30 years.
The current study adds to the existing evidence that obesity is associated with poor outcomes in breast cancer. Patients should be made aware of the adverse impact obesity has on decreasing the efficacy and poor outcomes of treatment and should be counseled about the potential importance of lifestyle changes to improve weight control.
Obesity may reduce the efficacy of endocrine therapy. They point out that both endocrine and metabolic changes that are associated with obesity are reversible by weight reduction.
Losing at least 10% of body weight has been shown to reduce serum concentrations of estradiol, leptin, and insulin, and losing weight also increases concentrations of sex hormone–binding globulin and adiponectin, they note. In addition, weight reduction in obese individuals leads to a reduction in levels of proinflammatory cytokines.
Therefore, weight reduction to a healthier BMI is a prevention strategy that may improve the prognosis of patients with breast and other cancers and increase the effectiveness of treatment.