Lean muscle mass helps obese battle cancer better

December 18th, 2008 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Dec 18 (IANS) Lean muscle mass helps obese people battle cancer better, a new study has found.The study provides evidence that varying body compositions of cancer patients likely plays a role in survival rates, activity levels during the illness and potentially, even the reaction to chemotherapy treatment.

Computed tomography images of 250 obese cancer patients were viewed in the study. Findings indicate that people with a condition called sarcopenic obesity - a depletion of lean muscle mass, paired with being severely overweight - lived an average of 10 months less than their counterparts who were obese, but who had more muscle mass.

“In many cases, people with sarcopenic obesity have as little or sometimes less muscle mass than thin people who look as of they were made of skin and bones,” noted Vickie Baracos, professor of oncology and adjunct professor of human nutrition at the University of Alberta, co-author of the study. The study was published in Lancet Oncology.

They also tended to more often be bedridden and have worse physical function than people who did not have sarcopenic obesity, said an Alberta release.

“With obesity reaching new levels, new concepts relating to body weight must be explored,” Baracos said.

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