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Bariatric Surgery Lowers Cancer Risk for Severely Obese

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By    |   Friday, 06 Oct 2017 12:11 PM

Severely obese people who undergo bariatric surgery in an effort to lose weight lower their risk of developing cancer by at least a third, according to a new study.

"We found having bariatric surgery is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, especially obesity-associated cancers including postmenopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer," said Dr. Daniel Schauer of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "What's surprising is how great the risk of cancer was reduced."

The study reviewed data of 22,198 individuals who had bariatric surgery and 66,427 nonsurgical patients between 2005 and 2012 with follow-up through 2014.

Schauer found that patients undergoing bariatric surgery had a 33 percent lower risk of developing any cancer during follow-up, and that the benefit was greatest among obesity-associated cancers.

The risk of postmenopausal breast cancer dropped by 42 percent, and the risk for endometrial cancer dropped 50 percent in severely obese patients. The risk of colon cancer dropped 41 percent while the risk of pancreatic cancer decreased by 54 percent.

"Cancer risks for postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer are closely related to estrogen levels," says Schauer. "Having weight loss surgery reduces estrogen levels."

Bariatric surgery helps reduce the risk of diabetes and insulin levels which may be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, while the mechanisms for colon cancer are more complicated, says Schauer.

"I think considering cancer risk is one small piece of the puzzle when considering bariatric surgery, but there are many factors to consider. Reductions in diabetes, hypertension and improvements in survival and quality of life are reason enough," says Schauer. "The study provides an additional reason to consider bariatric surgery."

The findings were recently published online in the Annals of Surgery.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the rates of 12 cancers related to obesity rose by 7 percent from 2005 to 2014. The increase threatens to wipe out progress in reducing cancer rates.

In 2014, 40 percent of all cancers were related to obesity. They include colorectal, uterine, kidney, pancreatic, postmenopausal breast, and kidney.

About 15 million adults in the United States suffer from severe obesity.

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Severely obese people who undergo bariatric surgery in an effort to lose weight lower their risk of developing cancer by at least a third, according to a new study. "We found having bariatric surgery is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, especially obesity-associated...
bariatric, surgery, lowers, cancer, risk
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2017-11-06
Friday, 06 Oct 2017 12:11 PM
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