Bariatric surgery not only helps reduce weight, but lowers cancer risk among obese people, new research shows.
The findings, reported by Brazilian researchers in the journal Obesity Surgery, are based on an analysis of 13 studies involving more than 54,000 people that examined obesity, cancer rates, and bariatric surgery.
Lead researcher Daniela Casagrande, of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, found that bariatric surgery was associated with a 50 percent reduction in cancer risk among morbidly obese patients up to 23 years after the procedure was performed.
"Bariatric surgery is associated with reduced cancer risk in morbidly obese people," said Casagrande. But she added that it's unclear whether the lower cancer rates are related to metabolic changes associated with weight loss, or if lower body mass indexes (BMIs) following surgery result in earlier diagnosis and improved cancer treatment outcomes among patients.
With bariatric surgery, a part of a patient's stomach is reduced to a small pouch, attached directly to the small intestine, bypassing most of the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. This ensures long-term weight loss and has been shown to reverse diabetes in many patients.
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