New findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) show a startling new connection between breast cancer and obesity. The study indicates that the disease is more aggressive and can even be more deadly in women are very overweight.
Dr. Manish Gupta, an oncologist, says, "There seems to be an increase in production of estrogen and that's what's driving the cancer itself." Susan Cockrell, a breast cancer patient, adds, "I would have definitely changed my lifestyle because it's a scary thought that the fact that you're an overweight person is going to make cancer more aggressive in you."
Susan had a mastectomy when her breast cancer was discovered. Now though, with the findings in JAMA that chemo and radiation are not enough, doctors are calling for lifestyle changes and a real effort to lose weight in breast cancer patients whose body mass index is more than 30.
In that JAMA study, 606 women with breast cancer were observed. They found that the 10-year survival rate for normal weight women was 56.5% and for obese women: 42.7%.