Diabetes, obesity, and inflammation: Impact on clinical and radiographic features of breast cancer

Academic Article


  • Obesity, diabetes, and inflammation increase the risk of breast cancer, the most common malignancy in women. One of the mainstays of breast cancer treatment and improving outcomes is early detection through imaging-based screening. There may be a role for individualized imaging strategies for patients with certain co-morbidities. Herein, we review the literature regarding the accuracy of conventional imaging modalities in obese and diabetic women, the potential role of anti-inflammatory agents to improve detection, and the novel molecular imaging techniques that may have a role for breast cancer screening in these patients. We demonstrate that with conventional imaging modalities, increased sensitivity often comes with a loss of specificity, resulting in unneces-sary biopsies and overtreatment. Obese women have body size limitations that impair image quality, and diabetes increases the risk for dense breast tis-sue. Increased density is known to obscure the diagnosis of cancer on routine screening mammography. Novel molecu-lar imaging agents with targets such as estrogen receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), pyrimi-dine analogues, and ligand-targeted receptor probes, among others, have potential to reduce false positive results. They can also improve detection rates with increased resolution and inform therapeutic decision making. These emerg-ing imaging techniques promise to improve breast cancer diagnosis in obese patients with diabetes who have dense breasts, but more work is needed to validate their clinical application.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 14246943
  • Author List

  • Miller B; Chalfant H; Thomas A; Wellberg E; Henson C; McNally MW; Grizzle WE; Jain A; McNally LR
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 15
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 5