New analysis reveals the advantages of bariatric surgical procedure in long-term weight reduction and decreasing the chance of most cancers

Bariatric surgery represents a useful tool in the treatment of obesity, and new research has shown its effectiveness in reducing the risk of cancer. At Baylor Medicine, the collaboration between the bariatric surgery team and our medical/surgical oncology colleagues helps identify patients suffering from obesity and who may be at risk for developing certain types of cancer.

Last month, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic highlighted the benefits of metabolic and bariatric surgery in reducing the prevalence and progression of cancer. The authors evaluated more than 650,000 patients suffering from obesity and compared those who underwent either gastric sleeve or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery to similar patients who had not undergone surgery. The cohort study demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of obesity-associated cancers, namely breast cancer, endometrial and ovarian cancer, esophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, hepatobiliary cancers, renal cell carcinoma, thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma.

In addition, the incidence of mortality from all types of invasive cancer was significantly lower in the surgical group than in the control group. The effects were most pronounced in the analysis of endometrial cancer.

These results are quite promising. The disease obesity has a known association with the promotion of an inflammatory condition leading to organ dysfunction, immune dysregulation and insulin resistance. Although some mechanisms underlying the metabolic effects of surgery remain elusive, research is ongoing to improve our understanding of the complex network of resulting cellular changes and their translation into improved overall health. Results from a previous study called the STAMPEDE study demonstrated the superiority of bariatric surgery over medical weight loss in providing durable treatment and, in some cases, complete remission in diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia2. Similarly, patients in the present study had greater success in long-term weight loss up to 10 years after surgery.

Our goal at the Baylor Medicine Weight Loss and Metabolic Center is to capitalize on these findings. In particular, Baylor Medicine patients being evaluated for bariatric surgery receive comprehensive, multidisciplinary care with a patient-centric approach. Along with our colleagues at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, we make sure our patients are routinely screened for colon, breast, uterine and prostate cancer before surgery, and for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, we work on her Reducing risk of recurrence through surgical weight loss.

This fall, a symposium at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center will feature presentations and discussions from our bariatric faculty on how metabolic and bariatric surgery can protect against certain types of cancer and prolong survival in patients diagnosed with cancer.

One of the greatest remaining challenges in bariatric surgery is access to care. Without proper education, an overwhelming majority of providers are unaware of the health benefits of weight loss surgery, including a reduction in cancer risk and mortality. Therefore, we must continue to educate our colleagues and encourage patients dealing with obesity to get screened to reduce their risk of cancer.

Learn more about the Weight Loss and Metabolic Center at Baylor Medicine.

from dr S. Julie-Ann Lloyd, Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery of Michael E. DeBakey at Baylor College of Medicine.

Comments are closed.