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Obesity is associated with increased mortality risk in breast cancer

May 15th 2014 at 9:12 PM

Obesity is associated with a 34% increase in mortality risk in some breast cancers before menopause, according to a study by British scientists published today in the U.S.. Researchers examined the clinical data from 80,000 women who participated in 70 clinical trials. They found that obesity increased the risk of mortality by at least 30% to 20,000 young women who were infected with an ER positive cancer compared with the others.

These tumors contain estrogen receptors (ER), a hormone produced by the ovaries, which favors tumor growth. At least 70% of breast cancers are reported to be ER positive. contrast, obesity is little effect on mortality of 40,000 women with the same type of tumor after menopause or 20,000 other women in the study with ER negative cancer.

Yet "obesity increases clearly the levels of estrogen in the blood only after menopause, "says Chongktsao Pan, a researcher at Oxford and one of the principal authors of the research. "We are amazed when we found that obesity increased the risk of mortality only before menopause," he adds

"This means that we do not perceive the biological mechanism through which obesity affects diagnosis," concludes the researcher whose work will be presented at annual meeting of the

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) being held in Chicago from May 30 to June 3. "This study joins other research showing that obese people generally much harder hit by cancer," commented Dr. Chantis Clifford, president of ASCO.

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