Scientists from Gundersen Lutheran Health System found that people with obesity were at least two times more likely to develop certain types of cancer and 3.5 times more likely to die from the disease than those who had weight-loss surgery.
The research was presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Annual Meeting and was conducted by Jared R. Miller et al.
In the study, the team examined 1,620 patients who had either gastric bypass surgery (1,265 patients) or sleeve gastrectomy (355 patients) between Sept. 2001 and Dec. 2019, and 2,156 patients who did not have surgery.
They estimate surgery patients lost about 60% of their excess weight at 10 years.
They found that after having weight-loss surgery, patients saw big reductions in the risk of breast cancer, gynecologic cancer, kidney cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, and thyroid cancer.
The team also found the 10-year risk of any new cancer in the surgical group was much lower and the 10-year survival rate was much higher than in the non-surgical group.
They say that the benefits of cancer risk reduction through weight-loss surgery cannot be ignored and should be a consideration for patients with obesity and at high risk for cancer.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 650,000 obesity-associated cancers occur in the United States each year.
From 2005 to 2014, most cancers associated with overweight and obesity increased by 7%, while the rate of new cancers not associated with excess weight dropped by 13%.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), obesity is a major unrecognized risk factor for cancer and is associated with worsened prognosis after a cancer diagnosis.
Overweight and obesity can cause changes in the body that could lead to cancer, including long-lasting inflammation and high insulin levels.
The risk of cancer increases the more excess weight a person gains and the longer they have overweight or obese.
In 2016, the ASMBS issued a position statement on the link between obesity and cancer, the role of bariatric surgery and the impact of weight loss not only on cancer risk but on survivorship after treatment.
For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about supplements and cancer, and results showing this common cancer drug may help reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms.
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