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The Physicians Committee





Body Mass Index and Breast Cancer Survival

Obesity is a known risk factor for increasing breast cancer risk. Now, growing evidence shows us that excess weight can reduce a woman’s odds of surviving the disease as well.

A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle followed 1,177 women under 45 years of age who had invasive ductal breast carcinoma diagnosed between 1983 and 1992. They found that those in the highest quartile of BMI (body mass index is a measure of excess weight taking height and build into account) were two and one-half times as likely to die of their disease within five years of diagnosis compared to women in the lowest quartile of BMI. Simply put, heavier women succumb to cancer more often than thinner women.

Daling, JR, Malone KE, Doody DR, et al. Relation of body mass index to tumor markers and survival among young women with invasive ductal carcinoma. Cancer 2001;92:720-9.



 

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