Minireview: Obesity and breast cancer: The estrogen connection

Margot P. Cleary, Michael E. Grossmann

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

363 Scopus citations


There is now substantial evidence that overweight and/or obesity and/or weight gain are risk factors for the development of postmenopausal breast cancer. In addition, obesity and/or elevated body mass index at breast cancer diagnosis has a negative impact on prognosis for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Therefore, understanding the mechanism of how obesity affects the mammary tumorigenesis process is an important health issue. Elevated serum estrogen levels as well as enhanced local production of estrogen have been considered primary mediators of how increased body weight promotes breast cancer development in postmenopausal women. Here, we provide an overview of estrogen's relationship with both obesity and breast cancer as separate entities. Human and relevant preclinical studies are cited. In addition, other growth factors that may be involved in this relationship are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2537-2542
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


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