Current Nutrition Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 9–15

The Association Between Adiposity and Breast Cancer Recurrence and Survival: A Review of the Recent Literature

Cancer (MF Leitzmann, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s13668-013-0068-9

Cite this article as:
Azrad, M. & Demark-Wahnefried, W. Curr Nutr Rep (2014) 3: 9. doi:10.1007/s13668-013-0068-9


Breast cancer (BC) is the most common and second deadliest malignancy among American women. Many factors contribute to BC prognosis, but a key modifiable lifestyle factor is body weight. In this review, we update the reader on the association between adiposity and poor BC outcomes. We summarize the findings from studies that show obesity to be a risk factor for BC recurrence and reduced survival, including research that shows that treatment with aromatase inhibitors in hormone-receptor positive BC survivors who are obese may not be as effective as for normal-weight women. In addition, we summarize the findings from studies that show that obesity-induced changes in glucose metabolism, type-2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome contribute to negative outcomes in BC survivors. Given the evidence, there is a critical need to determine whether weight loss can improve outcomes in BC survivors.


Breast neoplasms Recurrence Survival Mortality Aromatase Aromatase inhibitor Adiposity Obesity Overweight Body fat Body mass index Body weight Insulin Estrogen-receptor positive Hormone-receptor positive Estrogen Glucose Glucose metabolism c-peptide HOMA Type 2 diabetes Metabolic syndrome Hormones 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition SciencesUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)BirminghamUSA
  2. 2.UAB Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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