Obesity Diabetes Breast Cancer – Women over the age of 60 who suffer from obesity or diabetes have a higher risk of breast cancer.
Dr. Hakan Olsson, a professor of oncology at Lund University in Lund, Sweden conducted this research.
His findings will be presented this week at the 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Previous research has linked obesity and increased breast cancer risk, but “the diabetes link had not been clearly shown,” said researcher Dr. Hakan Olsson.
Even after he accounted for obesity and levels of blood lipids, such as cholesterol, the diabetes link held. It is an association, however, not proven cause and effect.
According to Olsson, “A strength of the study is that it looked at the population as a whole, not only women with breast cancer.”
The research he studied included medical records of over 2,700 patients for up to 10 years prior to them developed breast cancer. In addition to the records of about 20,500 patients who never developed cancer.
“Obesity after age 60 boosted breast cancer risk by 55 percent,” Olsson said. “To put this in perspective, while 15 of 100 obese women, at the most, would get breast cancer, fewer than 10 of 100 women in the general population would be expected to get breast cancer,” Olsson explained.
“Up to four years after a diabetes diagnosis, women of any age had a 37 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer,” he added.