Reduce Your Risk of Developing Aggressive Breast Cancer

Posted on: August 10th, 2017 by Our Team

What is your risk of aggressive breast cancer? Can bariatric surgery help?

A new study released by the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center connected obesity to aggressive breast cancer in women.

What affect does obesity have on women’s breast health?

One connection researchers have made is purely logistical: obesity decreases the efficacy of physical exams—performed by your doctor or yourself—which makes early detection difficult.

Without early detection, cancer grows and spreads more easily.

The other connections made by physicians are biological.

Fat tissue creates estrogen which promotes tumor growth.

However, receiving anti-estrogen treatments does not block all cancer risks.

Obesity promotes inflammation which causes higher levels of IL-6—interleukin—which aggravates androgen receptors. These receptors promote cell growth and increase the likelihood of breast cancer.

Out of 1,352 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2008, almost 350—or 24% of these women—were classified as obese.

Compared to their thinner counterparts, obese women’s breast cancer was more aggressive. Researchers noted the tumors were:

  • More likely to be T2 tumors or higher—larger than 2 cm.—29% of women had T2 or higher grade tumors.
  • 31% of obese women had cancer spread to their lymph nodes from their original breast cancer.

Both high levels of estrogen and IL-6 are found in obese women and promote aggressive breast cancer.

While estrogen levels have been connected to breast cancer before, the connection between IL-6 and breast cancer is a new development.

Steven Anderson, PhD, vice chair for research at the CU Cancer Center, states,

“When you talk about what’s the difference between lean and obese individuals there are a lot of things—resistance to insulin, high sugar, and an elevated inflammatory response, what we call chronic low-grade inflammation, to name a few. In a lot of ways, you can walk through these differences looking for what may be causing this androgen receptor sensitivity.”

Obesity has negative effects on health. At Advanced Surgical, we care about our patients and understand that well-being is the number one concern.

Obesity remission and a well-balanced life can be achieved through weight-loss surgery! Advanced Surgical offers bariatric procedures including sleeve gastrectomy, LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, and the Obalon Balloon System.

Elizabeth Wellberg, PhD, the author of the CU Cancer Center study, said, “Down the line, we can imagine a day in which the BMI or metabolic state of breast cancer patients would be considered when choosing a treatment. There patients may benefit significantly form a more personalized therapeutic strategy, based on what obesity is doing to the tumor environment.”

Weight-loss surgery is another great option for cancer prevention and protecting health.

We support continued education and revision of current medical practices relating to obesity. Obesity deserves specialized attention because it is a medical condition. At Advanced Surgical, we are ready to help push the conversation forward.

Talk to us about your weight-loss options to protect your health and your future! We offer the sleeve gastrectomy, LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, and the Obalon Balloon System.

To learn more about Advanced Surgical, visit

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