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Obesity linked to higher 5-year death rate after esophageal cancer surgery
Date:12/20/2011

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Obesity doubles the risk of cancer recurrence and cancer-related death in patients with esophageal cancer who have been treated with surgery, researchers at Mayo Clinic found. Their 778-patient study, which appeared in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (http://jco.ascopubs.org/), found that five-year survival in obese patients -- those with a body mass index of 30 or higher -- with esophageal cancer was 18 percent, compared to 36 percent in patients of normal weight.

VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources are available at the Mayo Clinic News Blog (http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2011/12/20/obesity-lowers-survival-chances-after-esophageal-cancer-surgery/).

The research is the first to find that obese patients with esophageal cancer have worse outcomes following surgery than patients with a normal weight, says lead investigator, Harry Yoon, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/15120945.html), an oncologist at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center (http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/cancercenter/).

"Obesity is considered a risk factor in the development of this cancer, which is known to be both highly lethal and increasingly common," he says. "But prior to this study, we did not really understand the impact of obesity in this upper gastrointestinal cancer."

If validated in another study, the findings may change the way some physicians counsel obese patients with this disease Dr. Yoon says.

"As an oncologist, I did not typically speak to my patients about excess body weight as part of their care, because we are more often concerned about weight loss and maintaining
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Contact: Joe Dangor
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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