Surgery-based weight loss linked to substantial decrease in cancer risk

Jun 18, 2022
The findings concluded that of the sample group of adults studied, those who underwent bariatric surgery were at a significant 32 per cent less likelihood of developing obesity-associated cancer. Source: Getty

New research published by the JAMA network has discovered a link between bariatric surgery and a substantial decrease in developing cancer.

The new study titled Association of Bariatric Surgery With Cancer Risk and Mortality in Adults With Obesity strived to discover if there was a link between bariatric surgery and the incidence of obesity-related cancer and cancer-related mortality in patients with obesity.

The study was conducted on a group of 30,318 adults classified as obese over the course of a decade.

The findings concluded that of the sample group of adults studied, those who underwent bariatric surgery (5,053 patients) were 32 per cent less likely of developing obesity-associated cancer and had a 48 per cent lower risk of dying as a result of cancer than those who did not undergo the invasive weight-loss surgery.

On average, the participants who underwent the bariatric surgery lost approximately 25 kilograms as opposed to those who did not, losing an average of 3 kilograms.

Study-co-author Jared R. Miller, MD, a general and bariatric surgeon at Gundersen Lutheran Health System said “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.”

“We knew bariatric surgery would reduce cancer risk based on previous studies, but what surprised us was the extent of that reduction in certain cancers,” Miller said.

It has been well documented that being overweight may increase the likelihood of a person developing cancer and/or other life threatening diseases. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) highlights that “overweight and obesity increases the likelihood of developing many chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, back problems, chronic kidney disease, dementia, diabetes, and some cancers.”

According to the latest data from the AIHW, an estimated 2 in 3 (67%) Australians aged 18 and over were overweight or obese (36% were overweight but not obese, and 31% were obese).

Men had higher rates of overweight and obesity than women (75% of men and 60% of women), and higher rates of obesity (33% of men and 30% of women).

Obesity is more common in older age groups—16% of adults aged 18–24 were obese, compared with 41% of adults aged 65–74.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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