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Obese women disadvantaged in both breast cancer treatment and diagnosis
Date:4/16/2008

ions. They also experienced more surgical delay and prolonged hospital stay after surgery. The more advanced stage at diagnosis could be due to the larger breast size of obese women, with more fatty tissue, which can lead to difficulties in palpating the primary tumour and the axillary lymph nodes. Our study confirms this hypothesis, said Dr. Rapiti.

Also, obese women may be more reluctant to undergo physical examination because of embarrassment about their weight. Doctors may be more judgemental towards patients who are significantly overweight, and severe obesity may need specially adapted equipment which is not always available, she said.

We need to educate women and doctors that self-examination and clinical examination may be less reliable in obese women, and think of strategies to prevent advanced disease at diagnosis for this growing group of patients.


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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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