OCT 27, 2020 12:02 PM PDT

Increased muscle mass improves outcomes for colorectal cancer surgery

New research published in JAMA Surgery reports a new way to prepare for surgery: sit-ups. According to the findings from a team of scientists at the University of Alberta, low muscle quality and quantity are associated with poor outcomes in colon resection surgery. The scientists say that preoperatively enhancing muscle mass could in fact reduce recovery time following surgery.

Carla Prado is a researcher at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. In this study, Prado and her colleagues assessed colon cancer patients’ muscle radiodensity prior to surgery. Using CT scans, they analyzed the quality of muscle for 1,630 patients who received a diagnosis of Stage I to Stage III colon cancer. It’s important to note that the quality of muscle is different from muscle mass, explains Prado.

"It's like you're looking at a steak and you have fat inside the steak. Our muscles can be like that too, and that's not good for us--so our study looked at both the mass (the quantity) and also the quality of the muscles, which is the amount of fat infiltration," said Prado.

The researchers looked at several additional factors, including the length of hospital stay, need for readmission and mortality in patients with colon cancer following colon resection surgery. Their findings showed that low muscle mass was linked to greater post-operative complications, hospitalization and mortality.

Photo: Pixabay

This finding has significant implications for targeted patient interventions. "It is possible to preoperatively improve muscle, and through that intervention, we can better people's quality of life,” says Prado. “So, I think exploring ways that we can successfully use this approach is the way of the future.”

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that colorectal cancer will be the second-leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian men and the third-leading cause of death from cancer in women in 2020.

Sources: JAMA Surgery, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUN 29, 2021
Cancer
Heart Failure Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
JUN 29, 2021
Heart Failure Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
A study by researchers in Germany suggests that patients with heart failure are more likely to develop cancer than those ...
JUL 12, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
A Molecule From the Gut Microbiome May Fight Tumors
JUL 12, 2021
A Molecule From the Gut Microbiome May Fight Tumors
The more we learn abut the gut microbiome, the more it seems that the microorganisms in our gastrointestinal tracts can ...
SEP 16, 2021
Technology
Scientists Create Tiny Replicas Of The Pancreas To Study New Drugs
SEP 16, 2021
Scientists Create Tiny Replicas Of The Pancreas To Study New Drugs
Pancreatic cancer it’s often hard to diagnose in its early stages, resulting in patients having more advanced canc ...
SEP 18, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Cancer Genes Might Aim for the Immune System, Not Growth Promotion
SEP 18, 2021
Cancer Genes Might Aim for the Immune System, Not Growth Promotion
The DNA in our cells can accumulate damage over may years. Environmental influences like UV light or cigarette smoke may ...
SEP 22, 2021
Cancer
Whole Genome Sequencing for Cancer Diagnostics
SEP 22, 2021
Whole Genome Sequencing for Cancer Diagnostics
The human genome consists of genetic material known as DNA.  We all have unique DNA sequences made up of four bases ...
OCT 14, 2021
Immunology
'Bio-Betters' Form the Next Wave of Cancer Therapies
OCT 14, 2021
'Bio-Betters' Form the Next Wave of Cancer Therapies
  Antibodies are blood proteins with highly specialized functions: to recognize and eliminate bacteria, viruses, an ...
Loading Comments...