Expert Point of View: David M. O’Malley, MD


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David M. O’Malley, MD, Assistant Professor at The James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, commented on the abstract presented by Ward et al at the Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. “Dr. Ward and colleagues report further convincing evidence that bariatric surgery reduces the rate of endometrial/uterine cancer from a large hospital-based database. The report highlights the fact that oncologists have a unique opportunity to initiate the discussion about obesity-related issues with patients. This is especially true when they are diagnosed with an obesity-related cancer (eg, endometrial, breast, colon).”

Dr. O’Malley said that several organizations have published documents to aid oncologists in counseling patients about weight loss, including the National Institutes of Health (www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/heart/obesity/aim_kit/steps.pdf), and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (https://www.sgo.org/obesity).

He emphasized the importance of educating patients and medical providers about the relationship between obesity and cancer. “The reality of an obesity-associated cancer diagnosis should be an opportunity to emphasize how obesity is impacting the patient’s health. Patients will respond to their oncologist, who should be a leader in education for preventive health strategies. Obviously, weight loss interventions could have a high impact on overall health and decrease cancer occurrences,” Dr. O’Malley stated. ■

Disclosure: Dr. O’Malley reported no potential conflicts of interest.


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