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Bariatric Surgery and Cancer: Does It Lower or Increase Risk?

By Jacqueline Osuna, MD on November 05, 2017

A worried man sitting and thinkingObesity and morbid obesity have been linked to so many healthy problems, which helps explain the increasing popularity of bariatric surgery. Custom weight loss procedures at our Guadalajara or Tijuana bariatric surgery centers can significantly improve your health and wellness.

One of the major benefits of weight loss surgery is its ability to prevent many serious health problems through safe and rapid weight loss. With that in mind, we would like to go over some of the basics with regard to bariatric surgery and how it affects a patient's risk of developing cancer.

Cancer and Obesity

Researches have found that people who are obese or morbidly obese are more likely to develop and suffer from different forms of cancer. Obesity, particularly morbid obesity, has been known to increase the chances of cancer in patients over time. In addition to cancer, obesity has been linked to countless other health problems, including heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and diabetes.

Clearly there are benefits to intimating a healthy weight, which is why many people turn to bariatric surgery to fight the dangers of obesity.

Bariatric Surgery Can Reduce Risk for Certain Cancers

Many medical studies have found that bariatric surgery can help prevent cancer in obese and morbidly obese individuals. A recent report by Reuters cited the findings of a new United States study on cancer and bariatric surgery.

According to this study's findings, obese and morbidly obese individuals who underwent bariatric surgery were 33 percent less likely to develop cancer than obese and morbidly obese people who hadn't undergone a surgical weight loss procedure. In addition, these bariatric surgery patients also experienced a 40 percent reduction in their likelihood of developing tumors related to obesity.

Additional Health Benefits

Bariatric surgery has also been found to alleviate a variety of obesity-related health problems, which includes heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and so forth. In general, bariatric surgery can greatly enhance your overall quality of life, and be a sound preventative measure with regard to the obesity-related comorbidities mentioned above.

Can Bariatric Surgery Increase Risk for Colon Cancer?

While general cancer risk is reduced thanks to surgical weight loss procedures, there are some other studies that suggest bariatric surgery may increase your risk of developing colon cancer and rectal cancer.

A United Kingdom study from 2013 found that instances of colon cancer among obese and morbidly obese bariatric surgery patients actually increased slightly, a finding that the researchers found counter-intuitive to the general consensus about weight loss and cancer prevention.

Why This Contraction in Findings Exists

The researchers in that 2013 UK study suggested that the changes in diet and the gut microbes in a barbaric surgery patient's body may account for this increase in colon and rectal cancer. Ultimately, more research must be performed to consider why this anomaly occurred.

By contrast, the new US study about bariatric surgery can cancer suggested that colon cancer risk went down among bariatric surgery patients. The new study suggested that people who underwent weight loss surgery were 41 percent less likely to develop colon cancer and 54 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer.

As more studies are conducted, we will be sure to note the findings here on our blog.

Learn More About Weight Loss Surgery

For more information about weight loss surgery and how it can enhance your health and overall quality of life, be sure to contact an experienced bariatric surgeon today. Our team looks forward to you visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.

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