Ginny takes exception to Dr. Nancy’s report on an obesity study and breast cancer recurrence. Asks Ginny: How about an honest story of those of us living with metastatic breast cancer who had their mammograms, ate well, exercised and had positive thoughts and still got metastatic disease?
You go, girl!
Originally posted on MBCNbuzz:
I was very disappointed with your story last night on NBC News about an obesity study and breast cancer recurrence. (http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/48807195/#48807195)
Most people do not understand risk factors and I would have expected you, as a journalist and doctor, to put it into context. The American Cancer Society says: “Risk factors don’t tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. Most women who have one or more breast cancer risk factors never develop the disease, while many women with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors (other than being a woman and growing older). Even when a woman with risk factors develops breast cancer, it is hard to know just how much these factors might have contributed.”
So this study showed a 25% increase in risk of recurrence if you are obese. That means in laymen terms, that if the recurrence rate is 30%, then obesity will increase your rate to 37.5% (which is a 25% increase in the rate) So instead of 3 chances in 10 of having a recurrence, an obese woman has 3.7 chances in 10. How many times now will we hear people say–she was fat, so that’s why the cancer recurred—or much more often: she wasn’t fat, so why?