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Body Mass Index may serve as prognostic tool for advanced, aggressive breast cancers
Date:3/13/2008

HOUSTON - Body Mass Index (BMI), the measure of a person's fat based on their height and weight, may be an effective prognostic tool for specific types of breast cancer, according to research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The study, published in the March 15 issue of Cancer Research, reports that women with locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) and inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) with high BMIs had worse prognosis than women with the disease whose BMIs were in the healthy range.

One's BMI is scored based on height and weight. A score less than 18.5 indicates that a person is underweight and a score of 18.5 -24.9 indicates that one is in a normal or healthy range. A person is overweight if their score is 25-29.9 and any score above 30 classifies that a person as obese.

According to Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., the study's senior author, LABC, or cancer that has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes, accounts for approximately five percent of newly diagnosed breast cancer cases each year in the United States. In underserved communities, LABC accounts for 50 percent of new cases. IBC is extremely aggressive, yet rare - representing just 1- 2 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in this country.

Before now, there were few epidemiological or retrospective studies suggesting a correlation between weight gain, obesity and risk of developing breast cancer; even fewer had address the prognostic value of obesity, said Cristofanilli, associate professor in M. D. Anderson's department of Breast Medical Oncology.

"This is the first study to highlight the value of BMI at the time of diagnosis as a prognostic indicator in women with aggressive disease and at a high risk of recurrence and at the time of diagnosis in locally advanced disease, including it's most aggressive form, inflammatory breast cancer," said Cristofanilli. "We embarked on this research because the vast majority of our newly-d
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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