Analysis: Obesity Links to Earlier Mortality for Breast Cancer Survivors

A new study involving the emerging research on lifestyle’s role in breast cancer survivorship suggests that obesity — both before and after a breast cancer diagnosis — is associated with earlier death from cancer or other causes, compared to women at a healthy weight. Survivor

The paper was published yesterday in the Annals of Oncology. It adds to a complex and relatively new area of research: what survivors can do to lengthen life and stay healthy.

In a major report on breast cancer survivorship due this Fall, World Cancer Research Fund International’s Continuous Update Project (CUP) expert panel will consider this latest paper as it works to shape official recommendations for cancer survivors. AICR is the US member of World Cancer Research Fund International.

The Annals of Oncology paper was written by a team of scientists involved in the CUP, including Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, Director of the Prevention Center at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The paper found that “increased body size is significantly related to survival after a diagnosis of breast cancer…” said Dr. McTiernan. But the findings are not proof, she says, more research is needed. Continue reading


I Saw It on TV… Weight-Loss Myths Women Hear

With AICR’s new report showing for the first time that obesity is linked to ovarian cancer, there are now even more reasons for women to maintain a healthy body weight. I’ve already written about challenges women face when it comes to weight loss, and a recent blog by Colby describes some of the many nutrition myths surrounding cancer risk.iStock_000004672120Small

To help women reduce their risk of ovarian cancer, getting to a healthy weight matters. Let’s look at a few of the many weight loss myths I hear daily from women:

1.    “I heard on Dr. Oz…” This is the start of many conversations I have with patients. It is usually followed by some supplement (e.g. garcinia cambogia) that “leads to weight loss.” There are usually few studies supporting the weight loss benefits of these supplements, potential risks or side effects from taking the supplement, and there is ALWAYS the caveat that a healthy diet and physical activity are needed for it to work. Continue reading


At the Summit: Partnerships and Actions to Reduce Childhood Obesity

Last week’s 2014 summit of the Partnership for a Healthier America showed inspiring results from a growing number of non-profit, government and corporate collaborations for “Building a Healthier Future.”

The conference focused on how the many sectors in our society can support children – and Americans in general – in reducing obesity levels. And that’s important for cancer prevention, because after not smoking, obesity is the single largest risk factor for cancer.

Celebrating its fourth year, the Partnership’s meeting was graced by uplifting remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, whose initiative Let’s Move to reduce childhood obesity and increase physical activity and healthy eating in hundreds of schools has been pivotal for the public-private partnerships now expanding that theme. Continue reading