Open Access

Paradoxical effects of obesity on pre‑ vs. post‑menopausal breast cancer: The epigenetic mechanisms (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Armina-Lyn M. Frederick
    • Riccardo Racicot
    • Zhenhua Liu
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  • Published online on: August 5, 2021     https://doi.org/10.3892/ije.2021.4
  • Article Number: 4
  • Copyright: © Frederick et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

Breast cancer (BC) has surpassed lung cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the US, as well as globally. A number of factors evidently contribute to the risk of developing BC, including age, physical activity, overweight/obesity, alcohol consumption, etc. It is of particular importance to study the role of body fatness and its potential influence on the risk of developing BC, as the number of individuals with obesity has increased with an alarming rate worldwide in recent decades. Epigenetics alterations are reversible, and do not alter the DNA sequence; however, they can affect gene expression via modifiable factors, including lifestyle and environmental factors. The present review article, in addition to providing overall reviews of obesity and BC in association with public health, concentrated on the epigenetic phenomena, with a focus on the well‑studied DNA methylation, and its role in the association between obesity and BC. The present review aimed to provide insight into the understanding of the paradoxical effects of obesity on pre‑vs. post‑menopausal BC (pre‑BC vs. post‑BC), and describe the mechanisms through which folate metabolism/DNA methylation may be responsible for the protective effects of obesity on pre‑BC. The literature presented in the present review article indicates that the epigenetic alterations represent a mediator in the association between obesity and BC; however, the mechanisms through which obesity differentially affects pre‑vs. post‑BC remain unclear. Further studies using animal models and the analyses of human tissue biopsies are thus required to delineate the paradoxical effects of obesity on BC.
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March-August 2021
Volume 1 Issue 2

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Copy and paste a formatted citation
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Spandidos Publications style
Frederick AM, Racicot R and Liu Z: Paradoxical effects of obesity on pre‑ vs. post‑menopausal breast cancer: The epigenetic mechanisms (Review). Int J Epigen 1: 4, 2021
APA
Frederick, A.M., Racicot, R., & Liu, Z. (2021). Paradoxical effects of obesity on pre‑ vs. post‑menopausal breast cancer: The epigenetic mechanisms (Review). International Journal of Epigenetics, 1, 4. https://doi.org/10.3892/ije.2021.4
MLA
Frederick, A. M., Racicot, R., Liu, Z."Paradoxical effects of obesity on pre‑ vs. post‑menopausal breast cancer: The epigenetic mechanisms (Review)". International Journal of Epigenetics 1.2 (2021): 4.
Chicago
Frederick, A. M., Racicot, R., Liu, Z."Paradoxical effects of obesity on pre‑ vs. post‑menopausal breast cancer: The epigenetic mechanisms (Review)". International Journal of Epigenetics 1, no. 2 (2021): 4. https://doi.org/10.3892/ije.2021.4