Question: Is there a relationship between muscle and the spread of cancer?
Dr. Brownstein's Answer:
Apparently, there is. Researchers at my alma mater, the University of Michigan, studied patients with advanced melanoma to understand the course of their illness as it related to muscle strength. According to a report in the December 2011 issue of The Annals of Surgical Oncology, the researchers looked at CT scans of the psoas muscle (a major muscle in the body’s abdominal region) in order to measure core muscle density. The authors then correlated the core muscle density with the risk of metastasis, or spreading of the cancer.
Those patients with higher muscle density were found to have significantly better survival rates and less metastasis.
The authors concluded that decreased muscle density was an important predictor in the outcome of the disease. Furthermore, they stated that “frailty, not age, was associated with decreased disease-free survival.”