Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk After Colon Cancer Higher For The Very Fat And Very Thin

Date:
November 22, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
Even after successful treatment for colon cancer, the very obese are about one-third more likely to have their cancer recur and to die prematurely from cancer than those of normal weight. For patients with stage II or stage III colon cancer, the difference was comparable to the difference between those who had surgery plus chemotherapy and those who had only surgery. The very thin were also at increased risk of death.

Even after successful treatment for colon cancer, the very obese are about one-third more likely to have their cancer recur and to die prematurely from cancer than those of normal weight, researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh report in the Nov. 15, 2006, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

For patients with stage II or stage III colon cancer, the difference in long-term survival for leaner patients compared to those with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater -- which physicians refer to as "very obese" -- was comparable to the difference between those who had surgery followed by chemotherapy and those who had only surgery.

The very thin, those with a BMI less than 18.5, were also at increased risk of death, primarily from other cancers, including respiratory cancers possibly connected to smoking, as well as non-cancer causes.

"Given the increasing proportion of Americans with a BMI greater than 35 and the fact that these individuals are over-represented among colon cancer patients, we need to find out why extra weight has such a harmful impact and come up with new ways to counter that," said study author James Dignam, Ph.D., a biostatistician and assistant professor in the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago.

"One first step would be to investigate whether modifying diet and exercise habits for patients after treatment would have a positive impact on colon cancer outcomes," he said. "Other studies beginning to explore the effect exercise in colon and other cancers have been promising."

The researchers studied data from 4,288 patients with stage II or stage III colon cancer who enrolled in either of two multi-center clinical trials between July 1989 and February 1994. Both trials, administered by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, headquartered at the University of Pittsburgh, compared different regimens of chemotherapy following surgery. Median follow-up from surgery to last contact with patients who were still alive was 11.2 years.

More than half of the patients in the trial (54%) were overweight and 5.5 percent were very obese. About three percent were underweight.

The researchers focused on the relationship between body mass index at the time of diagnosis and long-term prognosis. They found that the risk of death was increased "at both ends of the adiposity spectrum."

Patients who were very obese were most likely to die from colon cancer recurrence. Patients who were underweight had twice the risk of death, but their increased risk was from non-colon cancer-related causes.

The mechanism connecting excess weight to cancer recurrence and death "is not completely understood," the authors note. Previous studies have suggested a role for insulin, insulin-like growth factors, the hormones that regulate hunger and other obesity-related pathways. Another possibility is the presence of concurrent illnesses associated with obesity, which may interfere with the ability to deliver effective treatment.

"This study provides us with an easy way to predict that certain patients have a higher risk of recurrence and thus might benefit from closer surveillance and additional interventions," said Dignam.

The National Cancer Institute funded this study. Additional authors were Blase Polite of the University of Chicago, Greg Youthers and Linda Colangelo of the University of Pittsburgh, Michael O'Connell and Norman Wolmark of the Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, and Peter Raich of the University of Colorado.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Medical Center. "Risk After Colon Cancer Higher For The Very Fat And Very Thin." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116114101.htm>.
University of Chicago Medical Center. (2006, November 22). Risk After Colon Cancer Higher For The Very Fat And Very Thin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116114101.htm
University of Chicago Medical Center. "Risk After Colon Cancer Higher For The Very Fat And Very Thin." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116114101.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins