Emphasising one of the most intimidating effects of obesity, researchers at Mayo Clinic suggest that chances of severe health complications after surgery in obese oesophageal cancer patients are higher compared to the normal-weight oesophageal cancer patients.
Research spearheaded by Harry Yoon, an oncologist at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, found the patients with oesophageal cancer treated by surgery are at 2 folds higher risk of cancer recurrence and cancer-related death.
After inspecting 778 patients who underwent oesophageal cancer surgery, researchers found that five-year survival rate in obese patients with oesophageal cancer were only 18%, while 36% patients of normal weight survived following the treatment.
For the purpose of the study, patients with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30, were categorised obese. Citing the findings of the research, study authors explained that the results of this study are only applicable for non-smokers, as studying obese patients who smoke is difficult because weight loss and death are more likely in smokers.
Commenting on the impact of obesity in oesophageal cancer treatment, Harry Yoon said that this research has presented obesity as a risk factor for oesophageal cancer, which was otherwise unknown.
Yoon, the lead study author, said that this was the first research that investigated the outcomes faced by overweight patients with oesophageal cancer after surgery. He added that several studies have already disclosed that excess weight results in chronic inflammatory state, causing cancer recurrence or even death.
Researchers believe that if the findings are affirmed by other studies, then obese oesophageal cancer patients may be exposed to new and better treatments.