Breast Cancer Treatments May Be Less Effective in Obese Patients

Breast Cancer Treatments May Be Less Effective in Obese Patients
obese breast cancerObesity in the United States has increased by more than 50% in under 40 years. Today, 2 out 3 American adults are either overweight or obese, and children are not exempted from this growing epidemic. Some of the health conditions that result from obesity are diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, kidney problems, fatty liver, and cancer -- accounting for almost 1 out of every 10 deaths in America, and costing the nation about $223 billion annually. Breast cancer is another alarming health concern, especially among American women, as it is expected that 1 out of 8 women in America will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. It ranks as the second chief cause of mortality in women, second only to lung cancer. A recently completed study discovered that a commonly prescribed treatment for breast cancer in post-menopausal women may not be as effective or successful if the individual is obese. For post-menopausal women fighting breast cancer, doctors frequently prescribe a course of hormone inhibitors, which diminishes the body's secretion of estrogen into the blood stream, consequently cutting off one of the breast cancer cells' fuels for rapid growth. Mark Elwood, a professor at Auckland University in New Zealand, found in this study that these estrogen inhibitors had a reduced effect in obese patients, as study participants had more estrogen-producing cells from their greater amounts of peripheral fat.

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