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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 506868, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/506868
Review Article

Weight Gain, Metabolic Syndrome, and Breast Cancer Recurrence: Are Dietary Recommendations Supported by the Data?

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Kimmel Cancer Center and Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
2Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA

Received 27 April 2012; Accepted 27 August 2012

Academic Editor: Anne Rosenberg

Copyright © 2012 Colin E. Champ et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Metabolic syndrome, which can include weight gain and central obesity, elevated serum insulin and glucose, and insulin resistance, has been strongly associated with breast cancer recurrence and worse outcomes after treatment. Epidemiologic and prospective data do not show conclusive evidence as to which dietary factors may be responsible for these results. Current strategies employ low-fat diets which emphasize supplementing calories with increased intake of fruit, grain, and vegetable carbohydrate sources. Although results thus far have been inconclusive, recent randomized trials employing markedly different dietary strategies in noncancer patients may hold the key to reducing multiple risk factors in metabolic syndrome simultaneously which may prove to increase the long-term outcome of breast cancer patients and decrease recurrences. Since weight gain after breast cancer treatment confers a poor prognosis and may increase recurrence rates, large-scale randomized trials are needed to evaluate appropriate dietary interventions for our breast cancer patients.