Patients who undergo a radical cystectomy as treatment for bladder cancer have an improved survival rate if they are obese, a recently reported finding shows. The findings were reported at the American Urological Association’s 2014 annual meeting and showed that, for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, obesity is actually a benefit in treatment outcomes.
The study followed 728 patients retrospectively. The median age of the patients was 70 years old, and all had received a radical cystectomy to treat bladder cancer. The overall survival rate for those with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 was higher than that for those who were not obese. In the study, the average survival rate for obese patients was 4.6 years, compared to 2.7 years for non-obese patients. In total after necessary adjustments, obese patients were shown to have a 40 percent lower risk of death compared to their non-obese counterparts.
This is not the first time that obesity has been linked to higher survival rates for cancer patients. The same link has been seen in esophageal and lung cancers. Obesity did affect the treatment in other ways as well. Obese patients had a longer surgery time and lost more blood than non-obese patients. They did not, however, require more blood transfusions as a result.
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