Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity May Keep Some Women From Getting Screened For Breast, Cervical Cancer

Date:
March 25, 2008
Source:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Summary:
A review of cancer screening studies shows that white women who are obese are less likely than healthy weight women to get the recommended screenings for breast and cervical cancer.

A review of cancer screening studies shows that white women who are obese are less likely than healthy weight women to get the recommended screenings for breast and cervical cancer, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health.

The trend was not seen as consistently among black women; however there were fewer high quality studies that examined black women separately.

"Obesity is increasing, and so is the evidence that obesity increases the risk of certain cancers like colorectal cancer and post-menopausal breast cancer," said Sarah S. Cohen, lead author of the article published online March 24 by the American Cancer Society. "It's a disturbing trend, then, to see that women who are at increased risk of cancer because of their body size are less likely to be receiving screening tests that can detect cancer early, when it is treatable."

Cohen and her colleagues from the UNC School of Public Health's epidemiology department and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reviewed 32 relevant published studies on breast, cervical and colorectal cancers that considered associations between obesity and screening tests recommended for women in the United States.

The most consistent associations reported across all the studies were for cervical cancer screenings, with fewer women getting the recommended screening test (Papanicolaou -- or Pap -- tests) as body mass index increased. The studies showed a stronger trend among white women than black women.

The studies also showed lower rates of mammograms -- which screen for breast cancer -- among obese white women compared to healthy weight women. Again, this trend was not observed in black women. Body size was not consistently related to screening for colorectal cancer among any groups of women in the studies that were reviewed.

Breast, cervical and colorectal cancers accounted for 326,290 new cancers cases and 69,850 cancers deaths in 2007 among women in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. The percentage of American women who are overweight or obese has been increasing steadily in recent decades. Between 1976 and 2004, the percentage of overweight women rose from 39 percent to 57 percent in white women, and from 63 percent to 80 percent among black women. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003, 20 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2000 were attributable to obesity.

"Our review doesn't tell us why larger women are not getting screened as frequently for these cancers," Cohen said. "It only reveals the trend. We think this pattern should be studied more thoroughly. And in the meantime, some additional effort should be made to reach women at increased risk of cancer because of their body size and encourage them to get screenings that could save their lives."

In addition to Cohen, the review was written by Andrew Olshan, Ph.D., chair of the UNC epidemiology department, adjunct research professor in the UNC School of Medicine's department of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, and program leader for cancer epidemiology in the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; Rachel T. Palmieri, Sarah J. Nyante, Daniel O. Koralek, Sangmi Kim, Ph.D.and Patrick Bradshaw. The review was developed as the course project in Dr. Olshan's advanced cancer epidemiology class.

The review was supported in part by grants from the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Obesity May Keep Some Women From Getting Screened For Breast, Cervical Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080324173525.htm>.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2008, March 25). Obesity May Keep Some Women From Getting Screened For Breast, Cervical Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080324173525.htm
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Obesity May Keep Some Women From Getting Screened For Breast, Cervical Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080324173525.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins