In a nutshell
This study analysed if the volume of muscle or the volume of fat in a patient with breast cancer had any impact on their survival. The study found that patients with breast cancer who had higher volumes of muscle survived better than patients with low volumes of muscle.
It is well known that obesity can have an impact on health, especially cancer. There have been studies that have suggested that the amount of fat a patients has in comparison to the amount of muscle can be a factor which influences how well treatment works and overall outcomes in certain types of cancer.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 1460 patients with all types of breast cancer, and at all stages. Before treatment patients had a CT scan of their lower back, and from this scan, muscle volume and fat volume was determined. Patients were followed up after treatment for 8 years on average.
Patients with a higher muscle volume than average tended to have better outcomes than those with below average muscle volume. This was especially noted with overall survival. It was found that patients with a higher muscle volume were more than twice as likely to survive than those with a lower muscle volume. Body mass index (BMI) and fat volume had no effect on outcomes after treatment.
The bottom line
The study concluded that patients with a high volume of muscle are more likely to have favorable outcomes from breast cancer treatment than those with a low volume of muscle.
The fine print
This study is large, so it is likely the results are accurate. There are many ways muscle volume and fat volume can be calculated. CT scanning is one option. Using a different option may have resulted in slightly different findings. However, after statistical analysis, it is likely that the results are correct.
Published By :
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Aug 21, 2018
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