Waist and Widespread Fat Contribute to Distinct Breast Cancer Subtypes, Study Finds

Waist and Widespread Fat Contribute to Distinct Breast Cancer Subtypes, Study Finds
While both widespread (subcutaneous) and abdominal (visceral) fat accumulation contribute to breast cancer, the two types of obesity are linked to different subtypes of the disease, a new study from China revealed. Women who were obese before menopause were also found to have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. The research, "Distinct Effects of Body Mass Index and Waist/Hip Ratio on Risk of Breast Cancer by Joint Estrogen and Progestogen Receptor Status: Results from a Case-Control Study in Northern and Eastern China and Implications for Chemoprevention," was published in The Oncologist. The link between obesity and the risk for several types of cancer, including breast cancer, is well established by more than a decade of scientific research. This reveals a need for effective breast cancer risk reduction strategies, such as dietary modifications and the use of therapies, such as Tamoxifen, which is approved to prevent breast cancer. However, this drug only works to reduce the risk for estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers, and no preventive therapies exist for other breast cancer subtypes. Prior to the study development, researchers believed that obesity was more strongly related to ER+ breast cancer. But studies suggested that a women's risk of developing ER+ or ER- breast cancer varied with fat distribution. To address this, researchers studied 1,316 Han Chinese women recently diagnosed with breast cancer, aged between 25 and 70. Patients were from 21
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