By Genevra Pittman
NEW YORK — Among women who have been treated for breast cancer, heavier women are more likely to have their disease come back and more likely to die of cancer, according to a new study.
That could be because certain hormones that are linked to body weight may also fuel tumor growth in the most common form of the disease, known as estrogen receptor-positive cancer.
Previous studies have tied obesity to a higher chance of getting breast cancer – and worse outcomes in women who have already been diagnosed.
But these findings make the post-diagnosis picture clearer, said lead researcher Dr. Joseph Sparano, associate chairman of medical oncology at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care in the Bronx, New York.
“Obesity seemed to carry a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and death – even in women who were healthy at the time that they were diagnosed, and despite the fact that they received the best available chemotherapy and hormone therapy,” he said.