Current Breast Cancer Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 14–27 | Cite as

Obesity, Dietary Factors, Nutrition, and Breast Cancer Risk

  • Annina Seiler
  • Michelle A. Chen
  • Ryan L. Brown
  • Christopher P. Fagundes
Psycho-Oncology and Supportive Care (E Shinn and C Fagundes, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psycho-Oncology and Supportive Care


Purpose of Review

To synthesize the critical role of obesity-associated inflammation, dietary factors, and nutrition in determining breast cancer risk.

Recent Findings

Obesity-associated inflammation is strongly linked to breast cancer risk and progression, largely via two processes: inflammatory pathways and dysregulated metabolism. Cytokine production in excess adipose tissues creates a chronic inflammatory microenvironment, which favors tumor development. Lifestyle factors, including diet, have long been recognized as important determinants of breast cancer risk and mortality.


Obesity increases the risk of developing breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal women and also negatively affects breast cancer recurrence and survival. Poor dietary habits characterized by the high intake of refined starches, sugar, and both saturated and trans-saturated fats, as well as the low intake of omega-3 fatty acids, natural antioxidants, and fiber, modulate inflammation and, thereby, appear to be linked to increased risk of breast cancer and mortality.


Obesity Nutrition Dietary patterns Inflammation Breast cancer risk Survival 


Funding Information

Annina Seiler received funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (P2FRP1-168479).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors do not have any conflict of interests to declare

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annina Seiler
    • 1
  • Michelle A. Chen
    • 2
  • Ryan L. Brown
    • 2
  • Christopher P. Fagundes
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Consultation-Liaison-Psychiatry and Psychosomatic MedicineUniversity Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral ScienceThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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