Cancer mortality in patients with schizophrenia

Previous studies have reported conflicting results on the association between schizophrenia and cancer mortality | The British Journal of Psychiatry

Aims: To summarise available evidence and quantify the association between schizophrenia and cancer mortality using meta-analysis.

Method: We systematically searched literature in the PubMed and Embase databases. Risk estimates and 95% confidence intervals reported in individual studies were pooled using the DerSimonian–Laird random-effects model.

Results: We included 19 studies in the meta-analysis. Among them, 15 studies reported standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) comparing patients with schizophrenia with the general population, and the pooled SMR was 1.40 (95% CI 1.29–1.52, P<0.001). The other four studies reported hazard ratios (HRs) comparing individuals with schizophrenia with those without schizophrenia; the pooled HR was 1.51 (95% CI 1.13–2.03, P = 0.006).

Conclusions: Patients with schizophrenia are at a significantly increased risk of cancer mortality compared with the general population or individuals without schizophrenia.

Full reference: Zhuo, C. et al. (2017) Cancer mortality in patients with schizophrenia: systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry. Published online: 8 June 2017.

Pre-diagnosis diet and survival after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer

The relationship between diet and survival after ovarian cancer diagnosis is unclear as a result of a limited number of studies and inconsistent findings.


Methods: We examined the association between pre-diagnostic diet and overall survival in a population-based cohort (n=811) of Australian women diagnosed with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer between 2002 and 2005. Diet was measured by validated food frequency questionnaire. Deaths were ascertained up to 31 August 2014 via medical record review and Australian National Death Index linkage. We conducted Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, controlling for diagnosis age, tumour stage, grade and subtype, residual disease, smoking status, body mass index, physical activity, marital status, and energy intake.

Results: We observed improved survival with highest compared with lowest quartile of fibre intake (hazard ratio (HR)=0.69, 95% CI: 0.53–0.90, P-trend=0.002). There was a suggestion of better survival for women with highest compared with lowest intake category of green leafy vegetables (HR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.62–0.99), fish (HR=0.74, 95% CI: 0.57–0.95), poly- to mono-unsaturated fat ratio (HR=0.76, 95% CI: 0.59–0.98), and worse survival with higher glycaemic index (HR=1.28, 95% CI: 1.01–1.65, P-trend=0.03).

Conclusions: The associations we observed between healthy components of diet pre-diagnosis and ovarian cancer survival raise the possibility that dietary choices after diagnosis may improve survival.

Full reference: Playdon, M.C. et al. (2017) Pre-diagnosis diet and survival after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. British Journal of Cancer. 116. pp. 1627–1637

Chance of colon cancer recurrence nearly cut in half in people who eat nuts

Something as simple as eating tree nuts may make a difference in the long-term survival of patients with colon cancer, a new study concludes.American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) | ScienceDaily | 18th May 2017


An observational study of 826 patients with stage III colon cancer showed that those who consumed two ounces or more of nuts per week had a 42% lower chance of cancer recurrence and 57% lower chance of death than those who did not eat nuts.

A secondary analysis revealed the benefit of nut consumption was limited to tree nuts. Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and pecans, among others. These findings will be presented at the upcoming 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Read more at ScienceDaily

Effect of depression before breast cancer diagnosis on mortality

Liang, X. et al. Cancer | Published online: 7 April 2017


Background: Few previous studies investigating depression before the diagnosis of breast cancer and breast cancer–specific mortality have examined depression measured at more than 1 time point. This study investigated the effect of depression (combining depressive symptoms alone with antidepressant use) measured at 2 time points before the diagnosis of breast cancer on all-cause mortality and breast cancer–specific mortality among older postmenopausal women.

Conclusions: Women with newly developed depression before the diagnosis of breast cancer had a modestly but significantly increased risk for death from any cause and for death from breast cancer at a late stage.

Read the full abstract here

Psychosexual development and satisfaction in long-term survivors of childhood cancer

Lehmann, V. et al. Cancer. Published online: 6 February 2017

Background: Risk factors for impairment in psychosexual development and satisfaction among adult survivors of childhood cancer are poorly understood. The authors compared psychosexual outcomes between survivors and healthy controls, and tested whether at-risk survivors can be identified by 1) treatment neurotoxicity or 2) diagnosis.

Conclusions: The intensity of neurotoxic treatment may be a valuable indicator of risk for psychosexual impairment relative to diagnosis alone. Health care providers should assess romantic/sexual problems among survivors at risk and make referrals if needed.

Read the full abstract here

The impact of age on complications, survival, and cause of death following colon cancer surgery

Aquina, C.T. et al. (2017) British Journal of Cancer. 116, pp. 389-397

Image source: Lorna McInroy – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows cultured colon cancer cells showing the nuclei stained with DAPI in blue, the actin cytoskeleton in red and plectin (isoform 1k) in green.

Background: Given scarce data regarding the relationship among age, complications, and survival beyond the 30-day postoperative period for oncology patients in the United States, this study identified age-related differences in complications and the rate and cause of 1-year mortality following colon cancer surgery.

Conclusions: Older age and sepsis are associated with higher 1-year overall, cancer-specific, and cardiovascular-specific mortality, highlighting the importance of geriatric assessment, multidisciplinary care, and cardiovascular optimisation for older patients and those with infectious complications.

Read the full abstract here

Effect of low-dose aspirin use on survival of patients with gastrointestinal malignancies

Frouws, M.A. et al. (2017) British Journal of Cancer. 116, pp. 405-413


Background: Previous studies suggested a relationship between aspirin use and mortality reduction. The mechanism for the effect of aspirin on cancer outcomes remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate aspirin use and survival in patients with gastrointestinal tract cancer.


Conclusions: Post-diagnosis use of aspirin in patients with gastrointestinal tract malignancies is associated with increased survival in cancers with different sites of origin and biology. This adds weight to the hypothesis that the anti-cancer effects of aspirin are not tumour-site specific and may be modulated through the tumour micro-environment.

Read the full abstract here