Obesity Increases Risk of Certain Breast Tumors Among African American and Hispanic Women

Obesity Increases Risk of Certain Breast Tumors Among African American and Hispanic Women

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WASHINGTON, DC (AICR) — Two large new studies provide compelling evidence that obesity increases the risk of the most common type of postmenopausal breast cancer among both African Americans and Hispanics. Over one of every two African American woman and almost one of every two Hispanic woman is obese.

Announced today in advance of publication at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Annual Research Conference in Washington, these studies show that associations between body weight and breast cancer risk seen among white women hold true for African American and Hispanic women as well. This is significant because most breast cancer research has been conducted among white women, yet African American and Hispanic women have a higher incidence of the more aggressive types of breast cancer that are more challenging to treat, such as estrogen receptor (ER) negative tumors. They are also more likely to die of the breast cancer than white women.

The first study, published today in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, is the largest of its kind among Hispanic women. Conducted by Esther M. John, PhD, MSPH, Senior Research Scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, and her colleagues, the study suggests that healthy-weight Hispanic women who gain pounds through adulthood have increased risk for ER and progesterone receptor (PR) positive tumors after menopause.

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