Study: Obesity linked to breast cancer recurrence - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Study: Obesity linked to breast cancer recurrence

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Gail Brown wanted to tip the scales in her favor after battling breast cancer. "The whole lifestyle changes, not a diet, but a lifestyle," she said.

Brown's doctor is the lead author of a new study that shows heavier women are more likely to have their cancer come back.

"Patients in this study who were obese had about a 30-percent higher risk of having a recurrence of their breast cancer and 50-percent higher risk of dying from their breast cancer," said Dr. Joseph Sparano with Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care.

Researchers at the center studied close to 5-thousand women. They suspect hormones, higher insulin levels and inflammation, which are associated with extra body fat, could play a role in
driving cancer growth.

The link is strongest in women who have breast cancer that is fueled with the hormone estrogen. That's the most common type in the United States.

"This is important because a relatively simple intervention -- dietary intervention, exercise -- that leads to weight reduction could have profound impact in reducing the risk of recurrence for thousands of women," Dr. Sparano said.

At 65, Brown has been cancer free for five years. "I'm trying to do all the things that will help me live a happy and healthy life," she said.

She's lost 30 pounds and she's hoping to keep the weight off to keep cancer away.

Teresa Garcia - CBS News

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