Breast cancer: postdiagnosis weight gain is substantial

  • Ee C & al.
  • BMC Cancer
  • 20 Feb 2020

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Women are likely to experience substantial weight gain after a diagnosis of breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ, and many are highly concerned about their weight. 

Why this matters

  • Weight gain after breast cancer may result in poorer outcomes, and efforts to prevent and manage it must be prioritized, especially during the first year after diagnosis.

Study design

  • 309 women ages 35-74 years from the Breast Cancer Network Australia Review and Survey Group completed a cross-sectional survey.
  • Pre-/postdiagnosis weight data were available for 277 women and BMI for 270 women.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • 63.7% of women gained an average of 9.07 kg after diagnosis, and 17.0% gained >20 kg.
  • During the 2-year postdiagnosis period, the rate of overweight and obesity increased from 48% to 67%. 
    • Rate of obesity alone increased from 17% to 32%.
  • Among all age groups, 69.1% of women gained 0.48 kg more weight per year than age-matched control respondents.
  • High concerns regarding weight gain were reported by:
    • 54.8% of women who gained 5%-10% of their diagnosis weight.
    • 78.4% of women who gained >10%.

Limitations

  • Self-reported data.
  • Most respondents were white, so generalizability to other ethnicities is unknown.