Bariatric surgery has become a popular procedure due to its impact on reducing obesity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Of course it has also become popular due to patients wanting a more pleasing appearance and a better quality of life. Now, several studies are showing bariatric surgery linked to reducing cancer risk in women. This is a phenomenal development and opens up a whole new set of benefits for someone considering weight loss surgery.
Decreased Cancer Risk With Bariatric Surgery
The large weight loss seen with bariatric surgery decreases the risk of several types of cancer. The risk of cancer in women, who happen to be the majority of those who have bariatric surgery, was greatly reduced.
These cancers include colon cancer, breast cancers in both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. Death from cancer was lowered by 47% among female bariatric patients compared to non-surgical subjects.
A study suggests that obesity will soon surpass tobacco smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer. We all need to better understand how metabolic and bariatric surgery impacts cancer risk.
Obesity and Cancer Risk
A person who is obese has an increased risk of developing 13 types of cancer. To this day, researchers still don’t know exactly why that is so.
Some of the associations they do know:
- If it’s a hormone driven cancer, it’s obvious since obesity increases hormone production.
- Obesity decreases the production of other substances that can keep hormones in check.
- Obesity increases chronic inflammation and the overproduction of insulin.
- Chronic stress in cells leads to DNA damage and this increases the risk of cancer.
When researchers looked at the types of bariatric surgery and reduced cancer risk, it was found that gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy are both linked to a reduction in overall cancer risk. Gastric banding, which is an older type of surgery, was not.
Although gastric banding causes weight loss, the other two types have immediate and direct effects on metabolism and a reduction in molecules associated with inflammation. So one could conclude it’s more than just the weight loss.
Unfortunately, only 1% of obese people have bariatric surgery.
In the end, researchers suspect weight loss surgery may combat the development of cancer by reducing inflammation, improving insulin resistance, and altering hormone function.
Contact Dignity Health Medical Group today if you have any interest in bariatric surgery. Come find out if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery. Give our Chandler office a call at (602) 582-5233, or call our Gilbert office at (480) 728-6590. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online using our secure form.