Some Women with Healthy BMI Levels Have Obesity-related Breast Cancer Risk, Study Finds

Some Women with Healthy BMI Levels Have Obesity-related Breast Cancer Risk, Study Finds
Obesity increases a woman's chance of developing breast cancer, as well as the risk of relapse and death upon diagnosis. But a new study shows that even women with normal BMI may be at risk. Researchers at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have found that some women of healthy weight may have obesity-related disorders, including inflammation in breast fat tissue, increased levels of aromatase and high metabolic markers like insulin and glucose — all of which increase a women's risk for breast cancer. The study, "Metabolic Obesity, Adipose Inflammation and Elevated Breast Aromatase in Women with Normal Body Mass Index," appeared in Cancer Prevention Research. It suggests that the impact of obesity on cancer risk and mortality may be far greater than originally believed. In women with excessive body fat, adipocytes — the cells that uptake and store fat in the body — may become too large and get sick, causing them to release substances into the fat tissue and blood that help recruit the immune system's scavengers, macrophages, which clear the abnormal adipocytes. But while "these macrophages eat the dead or sick adipocyte and clear it," the inflammatory process that increases a women's risk of cancer has already started, senior author Dr. Andrew Dannenberg said in a press release. This inflammation state is linked to molecular changes in the breast and blood, including increased production of aro
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