Prevalence of Sarcopenia in Cancer Patients: Review and Future Directions
International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Sarcopenia, or skeletal muscle loss, is a common problem in post-treatment cancer patients and can negatively affect physical function and quality of life (QOL). This condition has recently received special attention in the cancer literature because it is associated with reduced physical activity and increased mortality in patients with cancer. The aim of this brief review was to evaluate the prevalence of sarcopenia in cancer patients. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted
... rch was conducted to examine the prevalence of sarcopenia in cancer patients. PubMed was searched for articles published from January 1950 to March 30, 2014, using the keywords 'sarcopenia or sarcopenic' AND 'cancer or malignancy or neoplastic'. For evaluating effectively the prevalence of sarcopenia, the search was limited to studies with a cross-sectional or longitudinal design. Results: A total of 28 articles met the established criteria. These previous studies showed the prevalence of sarcopenia differed widely between different cancer diagnoses, ranging from 14%-78.7% based on the cancer diagnosis. Cancer patients with sarcopenia were found to have lower QOL, worsened fatigue, decreased physical function, and longer hospital stay relative to cancer patients without this condition. Conclusion: Sarcopenia cancer patients may need physical exercise for improved physical function and QOL. Currently, few studies have been conducted on sarcopenia in cancer patients, and more studies are needed for investigating the prevalence of sarcopenia in these patients.