Obesity Increases Risk for Aggressive Breast Cancer

Monday, March 17, 2008
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

A wake up call has been issued to women.  If you are overweight and you get breast cancer it is more likely to be life threatening, and you have significantly poorer odds of being alive 5 or 10 years following treatment if weight issues are not corrected.  That is the clear conclusion of extensive new research published this week in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 

This is not only relevant to woman who wish to reduce their risks for breast cancer by better managing their weight – it is especially important to women who have already had breast cancer and don’t want it coming back.  Ironically, Tamoxifen, a drug commonly used as follow up care makes many women gain weight.  In those women the drug is actually making the risk for recurring cancer worse.  Managing body weight properly is the most important thing a woman can do to prevent the risk for aggressive breast cancer as well as to reduce the risk for any recurrence of cancer once treated for the problem.

I recently reported on the precise mechanism involved in how obesity fuels breast and prostate cancer.  Another new study1 confirms that low adiponectin combined with high leptin (leptin resistance) turns on inflammatory gene switches that fuel cancer growth.  The good news is that you can do something about this – follow the Leptin Diet and consistently move in the right direction toward your goal weight.  You don’t have to be at your ideal weight to significantly improve the function of these gene switches – but you do have to be consistently moving in the right direction.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Adiponectin Protects Against Cancer  Int J Cancer.  Fenton JI, Birmingham JM, Hursting SD, Hord NG.

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