High body fat increases breast cancer risk: JAMA Oncology

breast cancer

In post menopausal women with high BMI high body fat is associated with increased breast cancer risk

High body fat levels could increase breast cancer risk. A study led by researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has reported this finding in Jama Oncology.

In postmenopausal women with normal BMI, relatively high body fat levels were associated with an elevated risk of invasive breast cancer and altered levels of circulating metabolic and inflammatory factors. Normal BMI categorization may be an inadequate proxy for the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women,” the study concluded.

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, including the estrogen receptor (ER)–positive subtype in postmenopausal women. Whether excess adiposity is associated with increased risk in women with a normal body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) was unknown before this study.

The association of breast cancer with obesity is usually based on BMI – however many feel BMI does not take into account fat content in the body and is therefore a crude measurement

The recognition of obesity as a risk factor for several cancers is largely based on the use of anthropometric indices, such as body mass index (BMI). However, BMI is a crude measure of body size that does not discriminate between adiposity and muscle.

Recent evidence suggests that a subset of women with normal BMI and excess body fat may be at increased risk for breast cancer. This is the evidence that has now been validated by this study.