Research is clear that obesity increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Now, a large study suggests that women who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer have the greatest risk of an earlier death and recurrence, even when undergoing optimal treatment.
The study was published early online in the journal CANCER. Here’s the abstract.
The link was seen among women who had hormone-receptor positive breast cancer, which make up about two-thirds of breast cancers.
In all, the study included almost 7,000 women who went through treatment. The researchers pulled data from three National Cancer Institute trials that were studying the effects of chemotherapy, tamoxifen and/or other treatments on women with breast cancer. Their breast cancers ranged from the early stage to the later stage III, where the cancer could have spread to nearby lymph nodes.
The largest of the three trials tracked the women’s health for an average of 8 years; the other two followed the women for 14 years. Continue reading →
I’m a mother who works for a cancer prevention charity. I’m a mother who knows that breastfeeding is one of our strongest weapons to protect both the mother and child from cancer later in life. And I’m a mother who struggled to follow AICR’s recommendation to breastfeed infants exclusively up to six months.
What’s made me think about this is New York City’s initiative in participating hospitals to restrict access to infant formula in an effort to encourage breast feeding, and whether this is helpful or intrusive? Here’s one article on the program.
On paper – promoting and encouraging breastfeeding is an easy public health fix. Breast milk is free, portable and always at the right temperature. The reality is more complex.
First, not all women are able to breastfeed – infections, sick infants and difficult home environments are just some of the barriers that make it impossible. Second, our physical environment does not always support women breastfeeding outside the home. The dearth of appropriate facilities and sometimes hostile attitudes makes it difficult for mothers – especially those with older children who cannot be housebound. Third, many women simply cannot afford to be without a paycheck for 6 months and manage the considerable challenge of pumping and freezing sufficient breast milk. Continue reading →
The non-communicable diseases in question? Coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes … and cancer. Specifically, breast and colon cancers.
All of us at AICR, who have been working to raise awareness about the link between physical activity and lower cancer risk for many years, welcome these papers. It’s gratifying, given the strong evidence presented in the AICR/WCRF expert report and that continues to mount in the AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project (CUP), to finally see cancer taking its place alongside heart disease and diabetes on such a high-profile list.
Last year, at the AICR Annual Research Conference, we released estimates of the number of US cancers linked to inactivity. There are several ways to calculate such estimates, and the Lancet team used different statistical methods to arrive at their numbers, but the results are strikingly similar, and make it clearer than ever that being inactive has a major impact on cancer, on par with obesity and smoking. Continue reading →