Breast cancer survivors gain more weight than those without cancer

the ONA take:

Survivors of breast cancer who also have a family history of breast cancer were found to experience more weight gain in a four-year period than were cancer-free women, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center issued a baseline and follow-up questionnaire to 307 cancer-free women and 303 breast cancer survivors with a family history of either breast or ovarian cancer. The questionnaires were completed between 2005 and 2013.  In a four-year span, the cancer survivors gained an average of 3.6 pounds more than their cancer-free counterparts. In addition, the researchers also found a high prevalence of overweight women among both the survivors and cancer-free woman that had a family history or genetic predisposition to breast cancer  (including those with BRCA gene mutations). Of the cancer survivors, nearly 47 percent were classified as overweight or obese, and approximately 55 percent of the cancer-free women were similarly classified as overweight or obese. The investigators controlled for factors such as age and physical activity.

The researchers feel that chemotherapy may be at least partially to blame, as the female respondents who completed chemotherapy were more than twice as likely as the cancer-free women to have gained at least 11 pounds during the study period. Statin users in the breast cancer survivor group also gained an average of 10 pounds more than cancer-free women who used statins or either subgroup, survivor or cancer-free, that did not use statins. The researchers intend to continue following the study group to gain additional insight as to why chemotherapy treatment might cause weight gain, and they caution that they do not currently advise in favor of weight gain intervention during chemotherapy.

Research results were published in the July 15 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

High-protein diet may increase risk of weight gain, death for those at risk for heart disease
Survivors of breast cancer who also have a family history of breast cancer were found to experience more weight gain in a four-year period than were cancer-free women.
Breast cancer survivors with a family history of the disease, including those who carry BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, gained more weight over the course of four years than cancer-free women-especially if they were treated with chemotherapy.
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