Overweight, Obesity, Oxidative Stress and the Risk of Breast Cancer

  • Kruk, Joanna (Department of Prevention and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Physical Culture and Health Promotion, University of Szczecin)
  • Published : 2014.12.18


There is growing scientific evidence linking excess body weight to breast cancer risk. However, there is no common consensus on this relation due partly to methodologies used, populations studied and the cancer subtype. We report here a summary of the present state of knowledge on the role of overweight and obesity in pathogenesis of breast cancer and possible mechanisms through which excess body weight might influence the risk, focusing on the role of oxidative stress in breast cancer etiology. The findings demonstrate duality of excess body weight action in dependence on menopausal status: a statistically significant increased risk in postmenopausal overweight/ obese women and non-significant preventive effect among premenopausal women. Due to several gaps in the literature on this topic, additional studies are needed. Future research should address factors influencing the excess body weight - breast cancer relationship, such as race/ethnicity, tumor subtype, receptor status, the most appropriate measure of adiposity, reproductive characteristics, and lifestyle components.


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