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AACR: Weight Gain May Affect Breast Cancer Survival

Risk of breast cancer death is higher in patients who gain weight and in those who are obese

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women who gain a significant amount of weight after a breast cancer diagnosis may have an increased risk of breast cancer death, and the risk is especially elevated in obese women, according to research presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research's Sixth International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in Philadelphia.

Hazel B. Nichols, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues studied 4,021 women who were diagnosed with incident breast cancer and identified 121 breast cancer deaths and 428 non-breast cancer deaths during an average follow-up of 5.8 years.

The researchers' analysis showed that every 5 kilogram weight gain was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer death (hazard ratio 1.14) and that the risk of breast cancer death was more than double in obese women compared to those with a normal body mass index (HR, 2.36).

"These findings suggest that efforts towards preventing post-diagnosis weight gain may positively affect breast cancer survival," the authors conclude.

Abstract #A103

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