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Weight and Prognosis

Posted 7/29/2014

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  The issues of weight and exercise are recurring themes with the inevitable conclusion that both matter. Sadly, there are no easy solutions to losing or maintaining weight, and it is even harder for post-menopausal women and/or women who are taking one of the hormonal therapies. Very honestly, at least for me, it seems a triumph to just keep weight steady. Losing it is really difficult.

  Just in case you needed more motivation to pay attention to weight, this short article by Lydia Schapira, MD from MedScape confirms that association between overweight and mortality. That is, women who carry extra pounds are less likely to survive breast cancer. The numbers are not overwhelming, but they are statistically significant. Lace up those sneakers and reach for the salad.

Why Breast Cancer Patients Should Be Big Losers
Lidia Schapira, MD

Study Summary
Many studies have examined the relationship between obesity and breast cancer outcomes; past reviews have
concluded that obesity is linked to lower survival.[1-3] The current authors conducted a meta-analysis of 82 published studies to explore the nature of the association between body mass index (BMI; measured at 3 time periods) and the risk for total and cause-specific mortality overall and in women with pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer.
They analyzed 82 studies involving more than 200,000 women. Looking at BMI prior to diagnosis, the relative risks for total mortality in obese women as compared to normal-weight women were as follows: 1.41 for obese (BMI > 30) women, 1.07 for overweight (BMI 25-30) women, and 1.10 for underweight (BMI < 18.5) women. For obese women, the relative risks were 1.75 for premenopausal and 1.34 for postmenopausal breast cancer. For each increment of BMI at all points measured, there were increased risks for total mortality and breast-cancer-specific mortality.
The authors concluded that obesity is associated with poorer overall and breast cancer survival in pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer, regardless of when the BMI data were obtained.


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