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  • Writer's pictureWomen's Cancer Research Foundation

Malnutrition As A Risk Factor for Post-operative Morbidity in Gynecologic Cancer

Updated: Jan 12


Recently, an article from Gynecologic Oncology reviewed the association between various malnutrition (lack of proper nutrition) definitions with post-operative morbidity (the condition of suffering from a disease or medical condition) in gynecologic malignancies.

Patients undergoing surgical resection of ovarian, uterine, or cervical cancer between 2005 and 2019 were identified using a National Surgical database. Patients were classified based on specific, pre-defined malnutrition criteria: severe malnutrition (Body Mass Index (BMI) <18.5 + 10% weight loss). Outcomes included 30-day major complications, hospital readmission, reoperation. 76,290 total patients were included in the study.

Malnutrition was associated with higher readmission rates, increased reoperations, and complications.

For ovarian cancer, malnutrition was associated with higher readmission rates, increased reoperations, and complications. For uterine cancer, malnutrition was associated with increased readmissions, higher incidence of reoperations and complications. For cervical cancer, decreased albumin (a condition associated with liver disease, heart failure, malnutrition or vitamin deficiency) was associated with readmissions, reoperations, and complications.

Also, decreased albumin levels were associated with adverse outcomes in ovarian and uterine cancer. In summary, preoperative risk assessments should be tailored using cancer-specific malnutrition criteria.

About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation

The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of the most active research organizations in the nation. We are dedicated to studying and evaluating novel treatments for women afflicted with breast, ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers. The WCRF persistently endeavors to make a difference in women’s lives by offering them hope, strength, and progress.

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