Inflammation is present in both individuals with cancer and those who are obese. Inflammation is a process critical to the development and progression of breast cancer. Chronic inflammation is a hallmark sign of obesity. Ovarian hormones influence the expression of proteins involved in multiple pathways.
Hypothesis: Inflammation marker expression will be higher in breast fluid than in the circulating blood; that it will be higher in obese and overweight women compared with normal weight women; and will vary more through the menstrual cycle of premenopausal women compared to postmenopausal women over a 30 day period.
This study was initiated in November 2011 at University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Grand Forks and Fargo, and was then put on hold in June 2012 when the Principal Investigator moved to University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Tyler. The study was re-opened in September 2013. The study investigated nipple aspirate fluid and blood to determine if inflammation biomarkers are: higher in breast fluid than in the circulating blood; higher in obese and overweight women compared with normal weight women; and more variable through the menstrual cycle of premenopausal women compared to postmenopausal women. The researchers wanted to enroll up to 42 volunteers, first in the Grand Forks and Fargo area, and then the Tyler area. They turned to the Army of Women (AOW) for recruitment. The Call to Action for this study was sent to AOW members on Nov. 8, 2011. Information regarding the new study site was shared with AOW members in September 2013. The researchers closed enrollment on Jan. 30, 2015, after the Army of Women provided them with 45 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.