Bariatric Surgery Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Bariatric surgery significantly reduces the risk of cancer, especially obesity-related cancers, by as much as half in some individuals, according to a study published in the journal Gastroenterology.

In this retrospective study, researchers assessed more than 98,000 privately insured individuals between 18 to 64 years old who were diagnosed with severe obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) between 2007 and 2017. Of those, over 34% subsequently underwent bariatric surgery.

“We knew that obesity leads to certain problems, including cancer, but no one had ever looked at it the other way around–whether weight loss actually reduced the risk of those cancers,” explains study author Dr. Vinod K. Rustgi, professor of medicine, clinical director of hepatology and Director of the Center for Liver Diseases and Liver Masses, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School via a press release.

 

“Our study showed that all cancers were decreased, but obesity-related cancers in particular were decreased even more. Specifically, it showed a reduction in risk for all types of cancer by 18 percent, with the risk for obesity-related cancers being reduced by 25 percent. When comparing cirrhotic versus non-cirrhotic patients, cancer risk was reduced by 38 percent and 52 percent, respectively.”