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Weight loss surgery reduces cancer risk by 33 percent in women

A large retrospective study that focused mainly on women finds that cancer risk is reduced by almost a third after bariatric, or weight loss, surgery.
According to the National Cancer Institute, in the United States, approximately 72,000 new cases of cancer in women and 28,000 in men were caused by excess weight in 2012.
It is also estimated that over a third of U.S. adults live with obesity, though more womenare affected than men.
A new retrospective study from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio has now analyzed the data of more than 22,000 people who underwent bariatric surgery, to check for impact on the risk of developing cancer.
The data were sourced from five different Kaiser Permanente centers: in Colorado, in Northern California, in Oregon, in Southern California, and in Washington, D.C.
“We found,” says lead researcher Dr. Daniel Schauer, “[that] having bariatric surgery is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, especially obesity-associate[d] cancers including postmenopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer. What’s surprising is how great the risk of cancer was reduced.”
Lowest risk for obesity-associated cancers
Dr. Schauer and his team compared the medical data of 22,198 people who had undergone weight loss surgery between 2005 and 2012 with that of 66,427 individuals who did not go through surgery. Over 80 percent of the total cohort were women.
The researchers used statistical models to investigate the incidence of cancer in people who had bariatric surgery for up to 10 years following the procedure. They also took into account the cohort who did not opt for surgery.
The two groups were matched for relevant impacting factors, including sex, age, and body mass index (BMI).

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