The Impact of Obesity on Breast Cancer

  • Daniel F. Argolo
  • Clifford A. Hudis
  • Neil M. IyengarEmail author
Breast Cancer (B Overmoyer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Breast Cancer


The rates of obesity are increasing worldwide and this condition is now recognized as a leading preventable cause of cancer. Several diseases are directly related to obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, musculoskeletal disorders, and a diverse range of malignances—such as breast cancer. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and worse cancer-related outcomes for all breast tumor subtypes. Several mechanisms have been proposed to contribute to the obesity-cancer link, including high levels of circulating and local estrogens, altered amounts of adipokines (leptin and adiponectin), disrupted insulin/IGF signaling, modifications within the microbiome, and local and systemic effects of inflammation. Here we will review recent advances in our understanding of the complex signaling pathways underlying the obesity-cancer link. An improved understanding of these processes is anticipated to propel novel and effective intervention strategies to reduce the global obesity-cancer burden.


Obesity Inflammation Adipose tissue Insulin Metabolic syndrome Breast cancer 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Daniel F. Argolo, Clifford A. Hudis, and Neil M. Iyengar declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel F. Argolo
    • 1
  • Clifford A. Hudis
    • 2
    • 3
  • Neil M. Iyengar
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.CLION - CAM GroupSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Weill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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