Losing of weight is vital in preventing cancer of the blood

Emobileclinic Researchers Corner



The Journal of National Cancer Institute has published the findings of researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine who found that one way to preventing multiple myeloma is through shedding of excess weight. It was found that too much weight heighten the risk of developing a benign blood disorder which often resulted in multiple myeloma known as blood cancer.

Multiple myeloma is the third most common type of blood cancer. An estimated 30,330 new cases of the cancer will be diagnosed in 2016, and 12,650 deaths will be attributed to the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. According to the team, cancer of the blood is preceded by a blood disorder referred to as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) where abnormal plasma cells produce multiple copies of an antibody protein. However, this precancerous condition does not cause symptoms and often goes undiagnosed.

Su-Hsin Chang said thus “but our findings show that obesity can now be defined as a risk factor for developing multiple myeloma through this condition,” and “for patients diagnosed with MGUS, maintaining a healthy weight may be a way to prevent the progression to multiple myeloma, if further confirmed by clinical trials.” About 7878 patients mostly men whose data were gotten from the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs Database were diagnosed with MGUS from October 1999 through December 2009. The initial record showed that among these patients, 39.8 percent were overweight and 33.8 percent were obese. While embarking on the study, the researchers sought to know whether the patients developed multiple myeloma. They discovered that 4.6 percent of overweight patients (followed for a median of 5.75 years) and 4.3 percent of obese patients (followed for a median of 5.9 years) developed multiple myeloma, compared with 3.5 percent of people at normal weight (followed for a median of 5.2 years) – a difference that is statistically significant.
Overweight and obese MGUS patients had a 55 percent and 98 percent higher risk of progression to multiple myeloma, respectively, than normal-weight MGUS patients.

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Chang further said that “the diagnosis is usually by accident, often driven by tests performed for the diagnosis or management of other conditions,” and that “though our study does not directly suggest screening for MGUS, regular check-ups can help physicians monitor whether MGUS is progressing to other disorders, including multiple myeloma.” Furthermore the team said “based on our finding that being overweight or obese is a risk factor for multiple myeloma in MGUS patients, and since extra weight is a modifiable risk factor, we hope that our results will encourage intervention strategies to prevent the progression of this condition to multiple myeloma as soon as MGUS is diagnosed, also, for black people diagnosed with MGUS, close monitoring of the disease progression, in addition to maintaining a healthy weight, should be prioritized.”

The team concludes that “in the future, we will look at whether healthy weight loss is inversely associated with the progression of multiple myeloma in MGUS patients or how weight change plays a role in the progression of MGUS to multiple myeloma”.





Chang, S.H et.al (2016) Obesity and transformation of Monoclonal Gammopathy of Underdetermined significance to multiple myeloma: a population-based cohort study, Journal of National Cancer Institute.

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