Weight-loss surgery strongly reduce cancer risk and mortality

Credit: Fuu J/Unsplash.

In a study from Gundersen Lutheran Health System, scientists found 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.

They found that after having weight-loss surgery, patients saw significant reductions in the incidence of breast cancer (1.4% vs 2.7%), gynecologic cancer (0.4% vs 2.6%), kidney cancer(0.10% vs. 0.80%), brain cancer (0.20% vs 0.90%), lung cancer (0.20% vs 0.60%) and thyroid cancer (0.10% vs 0.70%).

The 10-year risk of any new cancer in the bariatric group was much lower (5.2% vs. 12.2%) and the 10-year survival rate was much higher (92.9% vs. 78.9%) than in the non-surgical group.

In the study, researchers examined 1,620 patients who had either gastric bypass surgery (1,265 patients) or sleeve gastrectomy (355 patients).

Researchers estimate surgery patients lost about 60% of their excess weight at 10 years.

They suggest 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 related to 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.

Being 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.

If you care about cancer, please read studies that a low-carb diet could increase overall cancer risk, and vitamin D supplements strongly reduce cancer death.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about how drinking milk affects risks of heart disease and cancer, and results showing not all processed meats carry the same cancer risk.

The study was conducted by Jared R. Miller, et al and presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Annual Meeting.

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