Patients who Undergo Bariatric Surgery Have a Lower Risk of Developing Colorectal Cancer

Patients who undergo bariatric surgery have a 35% less risk of developing colorectal cancer compared with obese individuals who had no surgery, according to a study published in BJS.

“Obesity increases the risk of multiple co‐morbidities such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and most cancers, including colorectal cancer,” the research authors wrote in their abstract. “Currently, the literature presents conflicting results regarding the protective effects of bariatric surgery on the incidence of colorectal cancer. This meta‐analysis was conducted to investigate the effect of bariatric surgery on the risk of developing colorectal cancer in obese individuals.”

To conduct this study, the researchers combed through Ovid Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane CENTRAL and Web of Science for articles published by the end of December 2018. All data were extracted according to evidence‐based PICO (population, intervention, control, outcome) model and analyzed using a random‐effects model to estimate the pooled relative risk (RR) and its 95 per cent confidence interval.

They used meta‐regression to assess the link between year of study, region, mean length of follow‐up and sample size with RR. Overall, seven articles comprising a total of 1,213,727 patients were included in the study. According to the results of the study, the researchers observed that the overall risk of developing colorectal cancer was 3 in 1,000 in patients with obesity who underwent weight loss surgery, compared with 4 in 1,000 in those who did not.

“Day by day, the scientific community is continuing to uncover the benefits of weight loss surgery, and this paper affirms this,” said lead author Sulaiman Almazeedi, MD, of Jaber Al-Ahmed Hospital, in Kuwait in a press release.

“Obesity today remains one of the most preventable causes of morbid disease and early death, and despite the controversy, we believe weight loss surgery can be an important tool in tackling this epidemic.”