Obesity is associated with an increased risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women and a worse prognosis for all major breast cancer subtypes regardless of menopausal status. While the link between obesity and the pathogenesis of breast cancer is clear, the molecular mechanism of this association is not completely understood due to the complexity of both obesity and breast cancer. The aim of this review is to highlight the association between obesity and breast cancer and discuss the literature, which indicates that this association is due to chronic adipose tissue inflammation. We will discuss the epidemiological data for the association between breast cancer incidence and progression as well as the potential molecular mechanisms for this association. We will focus on the role of inflammation within the adipose tissue during the pathogenesis of breast cancer. A better understanding of how obesity and adipose tissue inflammation affects the pathogenesis of breast cancer will lead to new strategies to reduce breast cancer risk and improve patient outcomes for obese patients.
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