Obesity and survival in women with breast cancer - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

During the past 50 years, the incidence of breast cancer has steadily increased. Although there have been advances in the detection and treatment of breast cancer, mortality rates have remained stable. Excess weight has been associated with a poorer prognosis in women with breast cancer. Senie and associates conducted a prospective study to evaluate the relationship between obesity and disease-free survival in women with breast cancer.

The study included 1,254 patients treated with mastectomy and axillary dissection for breast carcinoma between 1976 and 1978. Data on survival at 10 years were available for 923 patients. Women who were obese (25 percent or more over optimal weight for height) at the time of treatment were at significantly greater risk of recurrence than were nonobese patients (42 percent versus 32 percent). Obesity remained a statistically significant prognostic factor after controlling for tumor size, number of positive axillary lymph nodes, age at diagnosis and adjuvant chemotherapy. When analysis was restricted to the 557 patients who were free of lymph node metastases, it was noted that 32 percent of obese patients developed recurrent disease, compared with 19 percent of nonobese women.

The authors conclude that obesity at the time of diagnosis of breast cancer is a significant factor that may limit the reduction in mortality attained with early detection and treatment. Because both obesity and risk for breast cancer increase with age, interventions that encourage weight control may influence breast cancer survival rates (Annals of Internal Medicine, January 1, 1992, vol. 116, p. 26.)

COPYRIGHT 1992 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

 
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