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Abstract | Full HTML Article | PDF ecancer 12 845 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2018.845


Correlation of BMI with breast cancer subtype and tumour size

Background: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease which is divided broadly into luminal, HER2 and basal type based on molecular profiling. Increased body mass index (BMI) has been associated with the risk of developing breast cancer but the association based on molecular subtype remains conflicting.

Methods: This was an observational study carried out over a period of 2 years. Nonmetastatic breast cancer patients were evaluated for the tumour subtype based on surrogate markers (ER, PR and HER2). The BMI of these patients was correlated with the tumour subtype and size.

Results: We studied 476 patients with breast cancer with the median age of 46 years (range, 25–86) and 58% were premenopausal. The mean BMI of the cohort was 24.1, which was significantly higher in postmenopausal women (24.9 versus 23.6, p < 0.05). Overall, only 10% of patients were obese. The mean BMI in the luminal, HER2 and TNBC subtypes was 24.7, 22.4 and 23.9, respectively (p < 0.01). Also, the mean tumour size in luminal, HER2 and TNBC subtype was 4.02, 3.80 and 4.27 cm, respectively (p = 0.158).

Conclusion: The average BMI was higher in patients with luminal subtype followed by TNBC and lowest for HER2 at the time of diagnosis. The mean tumour size was numerically higher for TNBC and lowest for HER2 subtype although the difference was not statistically significant. Larger studies may provide clarity of association between the BMI and tumour subtype.

Keywords: Body mass index, breast cancer



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Founding partners

European Cancer Organisation European Institute of Oncology

Founding Charities

Foundazione Umberto Veronesi Fondazione IEO Swiss Bridge

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ecancer Global Foundation