Tags: obesity | breast | cancer

Fat Feeds Breast Cancer Tumors: Study

Monday, 24 Dec 2012 09:26 AM


Breast cancer is more common and aggressive in obese, postmenopausal women than in their leaner counterparts, new research shows.
The findings, reported by University of Colorado Cancer Center scientists in the journal Cancer Research, suggest fat tends to “feed tumors” in obese women, but in lean women excess calories go to healthy tissue. The researchers also suggested a combination of diet and exercise may be as beneficial as cancer drugs.
"By using nutrient tracers for fat and sugar, we tracked where the body stored excess calories,” said lead researcher Erin Giles. “In lean models, excess fat and glucose were taken up by the liver, mammary, and skeletal tissues. In obese models, excess fat and glucose were taken up by tumors, fueling their growth.
"This implies that the menopausal window may be an opportunity for women to control their breast cancer risk through weight management."
To reach their conclusions, Giles and colleagues analyzed 585 human breast cancers and found “an abnormal metabolic response to fat and sugar in the obese that, in many ways, mirrors the response to fat and sugar in type 2 diabetes," Giles said.
The investigators also found that weight gain is particularly bad for women who are obese when entering menopause. Tumors that develop in obese women have a metabolic advantage and the inability to store excess calories in healthy tissues may fuel tumor growth, they said.
"While drugs may be useful in controlling breast cancer risk in obese, postmenopausal women, our results imply that a combination of diet and exercise may be equally if not more beneficial," Giles noted.


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Breast cancer is more common and aggressive in obese women than their leaner counterparts.
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2012-26-24
Monday, 24 Dec 2012 09:26 AM
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