Study Reviews

The critical role of obesity-related inflammation, dietary factors and nutrition in the risk of breast cancer

  • 02/15/2019

This review summarises the most recent findings on the role of inflammation and metabolic dysregulation associated with obesity, dietary factors and nutrition in the risk of breast cancer.

Recent findings have revealed that inflammation due to hyperproduction of cytokines in adipose tissue creates a chronic inflammatory microclimate that favours tumour growth. Its association with obesity is strongly related to the risk and progress of breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal women and also has a negative affect on recurrence and survival.

Bad eating habits, with a high intake of refined starches, sugar, saturated and transaturated fats and a low intake of omega-3 fatty acids, natural antioxidants and fibre that modulate inflammation processes, seem to be related to a greater risk of breast cancer and mortality.

Efforts should be made to raise public awareness on the relationship between obesity and the risk of breast cancer. Despite current awareness of the role played by both obesity and nutrition in the outcome of breast cancer, research findings are still poorly interpreted when they are transferred to normal clinical practice. Efforts should also be targeted towards promoting changes in health policy and healthy lifestyle campaigns to reduce obesity rates, with messages aimed at both the general population and cancer patients in particular.