By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Doctors have now found a new link between obesity
and breast cancer. Women, who are obese, are at a higher risk of
getting breast cancer, and as the weight goes up, the risk increases.
Cancer of breast is one of the common cancers in women and thus far,
there has been no medical study in India linking the cancer of breast
to higher body mass index. The doctors, who examined about 400 breast
cancer patients, noticed that even mid upper arm circumference is
associated with breast cancer.
Overweight and obese women have odds ratio of 1.06 as against 2.27 in
women with normal weight. This in other words means obese women are
twice at risk of breast cancer than women with normal weight.
A team of doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences found
that breast cancer patients had a “statistically higher mean weight,
body mass index, and mid upper arm circumference as compared to the
normal women, who were part of the research study.”
There is a strong association of overweight and obesity with breast
cancer in the Indian population.
”Obesity causes increase in the levels of fat tissue in the body that
can store toxins. These toxins may serve as a continuous source of
cancer. Since body fat is linked to endogenous estrogen production and
storage, it could increase the risk of breast cancer. Free estrogen
levels are in higher levels in obese women, particularly if the weight
is around the abdomen,” one of the researchers Dr Umesh Kapil pointed
out. The other members of the research team are Dr SN Dwivedi, Dr P
Singh, Dr SVS Deo and Dr NK Shukla.
Obese women also show increased levels of bioavailable estrogen
fraction and this may cause the cancerous tumours to grow. Women with
a body mass index of 25 to 29.0 are overweight and those above 30 BMI