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The impact of obesity on time to recurrence in ovarian cancer: A retrospective study.

LaundryQueen's picture
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

The impact of obesity on time to recurrence in ovarian cancer: A retrospective study.
Author(s): Karina E Hew, Arvind Bakhru, Evan Harrison, Mehmet Ozhan Turan, Neil B. Rosenshein; Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD


Background: There has been conflicting data regarding the relationship between obesity and progression free survival in patients with ovarian cancer. There has been some evidence to suggest that obesity results in altered tumor biology and a poorer prognosis in these patients. The aim of this study was to examine whether obesity is a risk factor for time to recurrence in primary epithelial ovarian cancer. Methods: A multicenter retrospective chart review was performed at Mercy Medical Center and University of Michigan Medical Center. 591 patients were diagnosed with primary epithelial ovarian cancer between 2004-2009. However, 221 patients were excluded from the analysis because of persistent or progressive disease, treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, presence of synchronous tumors or incomplete follow-up data. 370 patients were eligible for analysis. Data collected included: height and weight at the time of surgery, age, race, medical co-morbid illnesses, tumor stage, grade and histology. Treatment related data such as number of cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy; and optimal versus suboptimal tumor debulking was also collected. Body mass index (BMI) was defined according to WHO 2004 criteria. Women with a BMI greater than 30 were categorized as obese. The diagnosis of recurrence was made by positive radiological or pathological diagnosis of cancer recurrence after patient had surgery, received adjuvant chemotherapy and had no clinical, radiological or serological evidence of recurrence during this time. The time to recurrence was then quantified in terms of months from the initial surgery. Survival analyses were performed with the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using log-rank testing. Time to recurrence was analyzed using Mann-Whitney U and Wilcox W tests. Results: 130 (35%) obese patients were compared with 240 (65%) non obese patients. A recurrence was documented in 125 (47.9%) non obese patients and 49 (37.7%) obese patients. Time to recurrence between both BMI groups was found to be identical, at 15 months (p=1.0). The progression free survival was similar in both obese and non obese subjects (p=0.118).

Conclusions: Obesity does not impact the time to recurrence in patients with primary ovarian cancer.

debrajo's picture
Posts: 954
Joined: Sep 2011

Glad you posted this article since I just had a meeting with the integrative dr. at md anderson who point-blank told me that one of the leading causes for ovarian and uterine cancer is their obesity! I have UPSC and am obese. Wondering if CAUSE and REACURANCE have different criteria?

carolenk's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

I am not so sure that you can blame cancer on obesity. Especially when you look at the number of obese women out there who have NO CANCER!

debrajo's picture
Posts: 954
Joined: Sep 2011

I come from SEVERAL family lines that ALL the women are obese(at least by dr.s charts/BMI now) and out of those combined, 100's of women, I am the only one with uterine(UPSC) cancer! Not saying it's a good thing,but I really don't think obesity is the cancer-causer. Over-all bad health, yes,cancer, I don't think so much! Debrajo

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Might not be a direct link with obesity and cancer, but in general, obesity puts one in areas of other health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

Really when our time is up, that's it!!!!!!


txtrisha55's picture
Posts: 506
Joined: Apr 2011

I agree with debrajo. Thanks for posting this. I am obesite and have been all my life except when in late teen years, when I took medicine to get skinny (with dr's help not street drugs). The weight stayed off for over 10 years then got married and pregnant. Never went back to skinny weight did lose about 190 pounds when I got a divorce but it did not make my weight go down. I worry about reacurance of my uterine cancer because of weight but will have to wait and see. I have lost about 30 lbs since DX last year and have been eating better and exercising just in case. trish

debrajo's picture
Posts: 954
Joined: Sep 2011

You sound exactly like me!! I was even a fat baby, got skinny(not really 132@5'4) with prescribed diet pills and thyroid pills. First baby, very sick with eclampsia, got huge and never lost that weight and put on a ton later. Strangely,after the first baby, the only time I LOST weight was when I was pregnant, no nausea, just felt soooo good!!! Debrajo

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