A new effort is underway to make sure obese patients get good cancer care.
The obese are less likely to survive cancer and one reason may be that they get too little chemotherapy.
The dose is supposed to be based on a patient's size, but many doctors base it on ideal weight or cap the dose out of fear about how much treatment an obese patient can bear. Yet research shows that bigger people handle chemo better than smaller people do.
Even a little less chemo can hurt survival odds, and studies suggest that up to 40 percent of obese cancer patients have been getting too little. Guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology urge doctors to right-size cancer care by using full doses.