Obesity and Energy Balance Considerations in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Cancer J. 2021 Jan-Feb;27(1):17-24. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000502.


Obesity is an increasingly prevalent state of energy imbalance that contributes to breast cancer risk and outcomes. The effects of obesity differ by breast cancer subtype and menopause. While most studies have focused on postmenopausal hormone receptor-positive disease, less is known about the relationship between obesity and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Here we will review the observations linking obesity to TNBC, the socioeconomic disparities that contribute to obesity-related TNBC, and putative biologic mechanisms. Finally, we will consider the impact of obesity on surgical and medical treatment of TNBC and novel strategies to improve energy balance after cancer diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity* / complications
  • Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms* / therapy