Did you know that bariatric surgery leads to substantial reductions in cancer? There have been earlier reports showing that bariatric surgical patients have less cancer, and recently researchers published a large and statistically powerful study that shows bariatric surgery patients have a much lower rate of cancer than obese patients without surgery.
The researchers identified a group of 22,198 patients who had had bariatric surgery, and matched that group with 66,427 patients who suffered from obesity but did not have surgery. Over a 3.5-year time period, there were 2,543 new cancers identified in the study – the group of patients who had undergone bariatric surgery had a 33% lower risk of developing cancer!
This study also strengthens an earlier concept that the obesity disease itself leads to increased cancer risk. This study did not dig into the causes of greater cancer risk in untreated obesity, but it reproduces similar findings from earlier studies. We believe that the obesity disease increases total body inflammation, and that this may weaken the immune system defenses in their role of finding and destroying early stage cancer in the body.
In fact, this study found that the risk improvement from bariatric surgery was most significant for obesity-related cancers:
• Breast cancer – 42% risk reduction
• Colon cancer – 41% risk reduction
• Endometrial cancer – 50% risk reduction
• Pancreatic cancer – 54% risk reduction
These statistical findings are great news for people who have already taken advantage of bariatric surgery, but they have to be scary for people who continue to suffer from obesity, who live every day with more risk of cancer than they really have to carry. Not only does bariatric surgery reduce the rate of cancer, but also if a cancer does occur it will easier to find at an early stage and will be easier to treat after weight loss.
We hope that information like this will help everyone understand that metabolic obesity is a real disease that causes real harm, and that effective obesity treatment will become more and more available. The sooner we get serious with treatment, the better our results will be!