Results of a study of 585 human breast cancer cases at the University of Colorado Cancer Center suggest that the combination of obesity and weight gain during menopause can impact breast cancer in two ways. First, tumors that arise in obese women appear to have a metabolic advantage, and second, the inability to store excess calories in healthy tissues may further fuel tumor growth.
By using nutrient tracers for fat and sugar, researcheras tracked where the body stored excess calories. In lean models, excess fat and glucose were taken up by the liver, mammary and skeletal tissues. In obese models, excess fat and glucose were taken up by tumors, fueling their growth.
The authors concluded that while drugs may be useful in controlling breast cancer risk in obese, postmenopausal women, the results imply that a combination of diet and exercise may be equally if not more beneficial
published in the December issue of the journal Cancer Research