Weight Loss Surgery Reduces Risk of Uterine Cancer

Weight loss surgery reduces the risk of uterine cancer by a staggering 71 percent compared to overweight patients who did not have the surgery, according to recent data collected by the University HealthSystem Consortium, an organization that collects information from United States hospitals and research centers. Furthermore, patients who were able to maintain a healthy weight and BMI reduced their risk of developing uterine cancer by 81 percent.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, recently published their findings inthe journal Gynecologic Oncology. The research included observations of nearly 7.4 million patients, of which 103,797 had bariatric surgery and 44,345 had developed uterine cancer.

Dr. Mazin Al-Hakeem, a physician practicing at the Plastic Surgery Institute of California stated to the press, “We’re thrilled when we see data indicating that through weight loss surgery and lifestyle change a patient may be able to significantly reduce their risk of uterine cancer. We’re looking forward to learning about additional benefits yet to be discovered.”

Dr. Kristy Ward, of the department of reproductive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, shared Dr. Al-Hakeem’s optimism. She commented in a statement to the press, “Estimating from various studies that looked at increasing BMI and endometrial cancer risk, a woman with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 would have approximately eight times greater risk of endometrial cancer than someone with a BMI of 25. This risk likely continues to go up as BMI goes up.”

Bariatric Surgery May Benefit Other Cancers

Weight loss surgery and uterine cancer seem to be connected, but the correlation might stretch beyond just this one type of cancer. A meta-analysis published in 2014 in the Obesity Surgery journal showed obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery reduced their risk of cancer by 40 percent compared to patients who did not.

According to study author Daniela Casagrande, Ph.D. of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, it is unclear what is causing the correlation between bariatric surgery and reduced risk of cancer, but it might be as simple as reducing stress on the body. She noted to Shape Magazine, “We know that bariatric surgery decreases oxidative stress, inflammatory markers, and hormonal disturbances that may explain the cancer risk reduction.”

Other medical researchers believe the evidence relating obesity to cancer risk is significant, even in those who are only moderately obese.

Although there is a link between weight loss surgery and a reduced risk of cancer, causation has yet to be proven. Some experts argue that having any major sort of surgery makes an individual more health conscious. This causes them to lead a healthier lifestyle, and in turn, reduces the risk of developing cancer.




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