A new study has revealed that bariatric surgery, commonly known as weight loss surgery, could reduce the risk of cancer. The surgery group, which consisted of almost 56,000 people with obesity, had less than half as many cases of cancer as the control group, who did not undergo the surgery. Over the period of 10 years, the bariatric surgery group had lower numbers of new cases of breast cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, and ovarian cancer. Obesity has been associated with several serious illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and is considered one of the most serious health challenges in the US today. The CDC reports that almost 42% of American adults have obesity, and rates continue to rise. The study was conducted by comparing billing codes in a national database, which identified 55,789 people with obesity who had undergone the surgery and a control group of others who did not. The retrospective, observational study included people undergoing sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric band procedures at one of 47 healthcare organizations nationwide. The reason why the risk of cancer drops after surgery for obesity is not yet completely understood, but bariatric surgery has been shown to lower excess inflammation, elevate insulin, and moderate hormone levels. Future research is needed to understand how bariatric surgery affects cancer risk, but the significant findings from this study suggest it is an exciting avenue for further study. If future research shows that the more weight you lose, the more likely you are to have a reduction in cancer, it would be fascinating. It would also be interesting to know if other approaches, such as weight loss medications, could decrease the number of cancers too.
Weight loss surgery may reduce cancer risk by 50%