ZocdocAnswersWhat does BMI of 34 for stage 4 colon cancer patient indicate?

Question

What does BMI of 34 for stage 4 colon cancer patient indicate?

36 year old male, 6'2", trim/athletic build with stage 4 colon cancer diagnosed last October. He weighed himself on the scale, weight being 187 but bmi was at 34!? It could be a problem with our scale but its usually pretty accurate. He's in no way obese so if the bmi is correct could it be an indication of something cancer related?

Answer

I would suggest that this acquaintance of yours discuss the issue with his primary care doctor. Patients with high BMIs do sometimes have trouble during cancer treatment, especially if surgery is needed, as the surgery can be more challenging and healing may be delayed. BMI (or body mass index) is a measure that is used to determine whether or not a person is overweight. It is calculated from first measuring the height and weight and then plugging these values into a calculator. I just did this, using the numbers you gave in your question, and I come up with a body mass index of 24. Since the second digit of this number is the same as the one you gave (34), I wonder if there might have been a simple transcription error. The body mass index is interpreted as follows. A BMI of less than 25 is considered normal weight. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight. A BMI of more than 30 is considered obese. Therefore, based on the numbers you gave, 24 would be a normal weight and would not be a sign of being overweight. It is important to speak with a doctor. He will be able to answer any additional questions.

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