Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Breast Cancer Patients Tend To Gain Weight Post-Treatment — Study

Breast Cancer Weight Gain

(Photo : Getty Images/Justin Sullivan ) Women with breast cancer tend to gain weight following their treatment.

Women with breast cancer might face a new challenge after their treatment, a new research suggests that those women with a family history of breast cancer tend to gain more weight compared to those women who are free of the said disease.

This weight gain might lead to some serious diseases like heart diseases and diabetes, as well as the recurrence of cancer. The researchers compared the 303 breast cancer survivors to 307 women who were cancer-free. All of the said participants in the study came from a familial risk of breast and ovarian cancer. They also included women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations that can raise the breast cancer risk, has learned.

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Lead researcher and a doctoral candidate from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore Amy Gross said that they found out the breast cancer survivors — especially chemotherapy patients — somehow gained more weight compared to those cancer-free women. 

Gross added, "Most breast cancer patients, and I think people forget this, that they actually don't die because of breast cancer, but they die because of other diseases. So for here, it is important to monitor those things well too."

According to CBS News, approximately 220,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. every year. The National Cancer Institute reports about almost 89 percent are expected to survive more than five years and many will go on to live long lives.

Dr. Kala Visvanathan, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the U.S., said that their study showed that those women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and those who received chemotherapy to treat their breast cancer tend to gain more weight within the first five years of their diagnosis and treatment compared to those women who were cancer-free, according to

Visvanathan added, "This study highlights the need for physicians and their patients, including those with a family history of the disease, to pay close attention to weight gain during and after their treatment, this might need a longer follow-up to confirm the persistence of weight gain in breast cancer survivors and understand the metabolic changes that may be occurring."

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