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The thing that causes breast cancer to spread faster in some women

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A discovery by researchers at Tulane University revealed obesity played a role in why breast cancer acted differently in some women.

Not only did they find overweight women have a higher chance of getting breast cancer, but they also found stem cells are changed in the fat of obese women. That change causes the breast tumor to grow faster, become more aggressive and spread more quickly.

"So what happens in the context of obesity is you get chronic inflammation and you get high levels of chronic inflammation," Dr. Bruce Bunnell, with Tulane's Center for Stem Cell Research, said. "As we started to do our experiments on cells from obese individuals we found that they didn't function as well."

The Tulane study also showed the correlation of breast cancer and high body weight is more prevalent in post-menopausal woman.