Obese Cancer Patients at Risk for Poor Outcomes

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • The most frightening word in all of language is cancer. It evokes images of stoic men and women asking, "How long do I have?" as their blood turns to ice water and the light in the room begins a slow fade. Plump and cheery faces will collapse all too soon and deep sockets that house yelllow eyes will mirror the terror and knowledge that the best mercy will come as a final breath and then the pain will be over.


    I have a famly member who I love to the point of tears who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was only 22 years old. She broke the news to my husband and me while we were on our way to do some Christmas shopping. 

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    I will never forget the sheer volume of the word and the way it sucked all the oxygen from the car. All other issues and concerns were instantly petty and shrank to the size of a pebble, while that vulgar word echoed over in over in my head. I felt violated and the word itself smelled of rot and obscenity. 


    There was a successful surgery, and now it all comes down to monitoring. That was six years ago, but emotionlly it was yesterday. It never feels any further than that, although it never feels any closer either. I suppose you can call that balance.


    Second chances should be held close to the vest and nutured like a lost child. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  


    Obesity As It Pertains to Cancer

    It is already known that obese people run a greater risk for getting a number of different cancers, but a new study shows that being obese also increases the possibility that some of these patients will have a return episode. Furthermore, the likelihood of death is increased too. 


    Researchers analyzed the body mass index, estrogen receptor, menopase status, cancer recurrence and prognosis of 80,000 patients from 70 early breast cancer trials. Women with higher body mass indexes were compared to women with normal body mass indexes over a 10-year period. They discovered that the younger, pre-menopausal women who had early breast cancer and were obese had worse outcomes. Those women with a body mass index of over 30 had a 21.5 percent chance of dying, while women who had an average body mass index had a 16.6 percent chance of dying. Do the math, ladies.


    The surprise find in the study was that pre-menopausal seem to be the only ones affected; although, the reason for this is not yet clear. Researchers maintain that the results of the  study support recommendations that women maintain a healthy weight should they receive a diagnosis of breast cancer.   


    Dr. Clifford A. Hudis, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, has expressed his concern that "no matter how we look at it, obesity is looking to replace tobacco as the overall leading factor leading to cancer."      


    Living life well-fed,

    My Bariatric Life


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Published On: July 15, 2014