In a study published in Psycho-Oncology, excess weight was linked with poorer psychosocial health among older adults diagnosed with breast cancer or prostate cancer. The association was not seen in older patients with colon cancer, however.
In the study of 4,159 patients, obesity was consistently associated with a greater burden of symptoms and with experiences of distress among patients with breast or prostate cancer. Few weight-based differences were observed among patients with colon cancer, but this group tended to have significant symptoms and distress regardless of patients' weight.
Across all patients, the most frequent problems related to sleeping, finances, feeling anxious or fearful, pain, feeling down or depressed, managing emotions, and, fear of medical procedures.
"These findings among a large cohort of patients provide insight into the impact of obesity during the cancer care trajectory and can provide guidance in the development and implementation of supportive care services for this 'at-risk' population," the authors wrote.