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A handshake can tell cancer survival rates

Posted on Feb 27 2014 | IANS

New York, Feb 27 : Can a simple handshake predict survival rates in cancer patients? Yes, asserts research.

It says that handgrip strength may be linked to a person's ability to fight disease.
Concordia professor Robert Kilgour and his colleagues from McGill recognised the simple squeeze as an important diagnostic tool in assessing strength and quality of life among critical care patients.

The test was simple: 203 patients fighting advanced-stage cancers squeezed a device known as a dynamometer with their dominant hand.

The instrument then measured peak grip strength.

"This measure can help determine interventions they may need, whether clinical, nutritional or functional," said Kilgour.

The study is published in the journal Supportive Care Cancer.

While other diagnostic tests rely on a patient's self-reporting or examine related factors such as decreased body weight, the handgrip test directly focuses on body strength.

Its precision allows doctors to better assess a patient's decline.

Clinicians typically classify patients by percentiles.

In most cases, slowing a patient's decline and maintaining a decent quality of life can be a significant accomplishment.

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