Obese women `less likely to survive' breast cancer

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The Independent Online
Big women in their 50s have less chances of survival with breast cancer than those who are slim, doctors said yesterday. Researchers who studied 2,455 women with early breast cancer found the survival rate of post-menopausal patients was linked to weight.

The heavier they were when the disease was diagnosed, the poorer were their chances. But weight did not affect the survival rate of pre-menopausal women. Professor Gordon McVie, director general of the Cancer Research Campaign, which helped conduct the study, said: "Clearly post-menopausal women who are fat have higher levels of circulating oestrogens, which is believed to promote the growth of breast tumours.

"It seems highly probable that, for post-menopausal women, increased body fat leads to increased levels of the hormone oestrogen and, therefore, an increased risk of dangerous cancers."