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J Clin Oncol. 2016 Dec 10;34(35):4203-4216. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

Obesity and Breast Cancer Prognosis: Evidence, Challenges, and Opportunities.

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Sao Jiralerspong, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; and Pamela J. Goodwin, Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Purpose To summarize the evidence of an association between obesity and breast cancer prognosis. Methods We reviewed the literature regarding overweight and obesity and breast cancer survival outcomes, overall and with regard to breast cancer subtypes, breast cancer therapies, biologic mechanisms, and possible interventions. We summarize our findings and provide clinical management recommendations. Results Obesity is associated with a 35% to 40% increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and death and therefore poorer survival outcomes. This is most clearly established for estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, with the relationship in triple-negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive subtypes less well established. A range of biologic mechanisms that may underlie this association has been identified. Weight loss and lifestyle interventions, as well as metformin and other obesity-targeted therapies, are promising avenues that require further study. Conclusion Obesity is associated with inferior survival in breast cancer. Understanding the nature and mechanisms of this effect provides an important opportunity for interventions to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of obese patients with breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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