New research on the problems faced by patients with colon cancer has found that if they are obese or suffer from type 2 diabetes, then their prognosis is likely to be worse.
The two studies, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed that the effect of having a high body mass index (BMI) and being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes had an influence on survival rate from colorectal cancer. They also revealed that deaths from any cause, such as heart disease, also were higher for the obese or type 2 diabetes patients.
One study of more than 2,000 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1992 and 2007, found that of the 851 people with colorectal cancer who died, 380 died because of the condition, with another 153 dying of heart disease and the remainder due to other causes. The chance of all-cause mortality was found to be 30 per cent greater for obese patients at the start of the study as compared to people of a normal weight. In addition, the risk of dying from colorectal cancer was 35 per cent higher, while the risk of dying from heart disease was 68 per cent higher.
The other study, involving 2,278 patients with colon or rectal cancer over the same time period, found that of the 842 deaths, 377 were from colorectal cancer and 152 were from heart disease. However, those with type 2 diabetes had a 53 per cent great chance of dying from any cause and a 29 per cent higher risk of dying from colorectal cancer as compared to those without the condition.

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