ASCO today released new resources to help physicians manage the complications of obesity in patients with cancer and facilitate communication about the importance of weight management and making healthy lifestyle choices following a cancer diagnosis.
Obesity is quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer, and although data are still emerging, research suggests that the risk of developing and dying from many common cancers is increased in obese individuals. Obesity is also linked to poorer cancer outcomes, including increased risk of recurrence and of both cancer-specific and overall mortality.
Oncologists play a critical role in patient education, as well as in education of caregivers and families, regarding the importance of weight management. Oncologists are also often the main source of referrals to appropriate sources where patients and their families can receive sound guidance. ASCO is committed to informing oncology providers regarding the existing data linking obesity, inactivity and poor diet to poor outcomes in patients with cancer and to provide educational materials for patients regarding the role of weight management and healthy lifestyle behaviors in cancer.