Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center

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Elevated breast cancer risk across the BMI spectrum

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Andrew Dannenberg, M.D., professor of medicine and associate director of cancer prevention at the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, speaks to OncLive about the association between breast inflammation and breast cancer.

In a study looking at women with metastatic breast cancer, long-term distant recurrence-free survival was reduced in those who had white adipose or occult inflammation compared to those who did not.  

Although white adipose inflammation of the breast has previously been associated with elevated body mass index (BMI), Dannenberg reported that approximately one-third of normal BMI women have breast inflammation. This inflammation is believed to contribute to insulin resistance, which is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among those with a normal BMI.  

This means that many women at a healthy weight may have an unrecognized risk factor for breast cancer.