Breast cancer risk in obese women is significantly different from normal weight women. According to recent industry article women who are overweight yet not obese are associated with a higher risk of recurrence of the most common type of breast cancer even if they have had optimal treatment according to a recent study published online. The results from the study suggest that excess body fat creates hormonal changes in inflammation that could increase the risk of breast cancer and cause it to spread even though the patient has had treatment.
Breast Cancer and the Link to Obesity
Women who are already obese when they are diagnosed with breast cancer have an increased risk of fatality prematurely when compared with women who are of normal weight. In the study which was led by Joseph Sparano, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Montefiore Medical Center, in Bronx, NY, patients were required to have a normal heart, kidney, liver, and bone marrow function in an effort to exclude patients with other significant health issues. Due to this, researchers were able to isolate the influence of obesity from other factors that affect cancer survivor’s health.
Breast Cancer and Health
Dr. Seify shares with patients the importance of maintaining a proper diet and avoiding obesity as it relates to many negative health conditions. Patients who have had cosmetic breast surgery including breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction are advised to follow their primary care physician’s recommendations for breast cancer screening. For most patients over the age of 40 this includes an annual mammogram, and monthly breast self-examination regardless of the patient’s age. Dr. Seify reminds patients that having breast implants does not change the standard recommendations for breast cancer screening or health risk; including obesity. Dr. Seify advises all cosmetic breast surgery patients with breast implants to return for annual follow-up visits so that a follow-up examination can be performed.