According to Counsel and Heal, people who have bariatric surgery may have a reduced risk of uterine cancer development. In a new study published in Gynecologic Oncology, researcher looks at information from 7.4 million patients in the University Health System Consortium. This database collects information from various affiliated hospitals and academic medical centers across the United States.
The sample they studied showed 103,797 people who had undergone bariatric surgery and 44,345 who had developed uterine cancer. The researchers found that those who had bariatric surgery had a 71% reduced risk of developing this cancer compared to those who did not have the surgical procedure. They also found that those who maintained a normal or average weight following surgeries then they were able to achieve an 81% reduced risk of endometrial cancer.
The researchers of this study come from the San Diego School of Medicine, University of California and the Moores Cancer Center. They suspect that obesity may be a major risk factor for developing cancer, especially uterine cancer.
The study’s author, Dr. Kristy Ward of the Department of Reproductive Health at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, believes that the risk goes up as a patient’s body mass index (BMI) goes up. The study’s researchers also believe that while more research needs to be done regarding this connection, the role of weight loss surgery in cancer prevention is definitely significant. For instance, a patient with a B MI of 40 would have eight times a greater risk of endometrial cancer then a patient with one of 25.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, uterine cancer is the fourth most popular cancer for women. The risk of this cancer increases with age and most cases occur in women who have already experienced menopause.
The study, published in the April Issue, notes that obesity is a significant public health problem nationwide. The team believes that two-thirds of all American adults are overweight or obese. The team’s researchers believe that bariatric surgery may be a feasible option for patients who are eligible (typically a BMI of over 40 or a BMI of 35 with comorbidities).
Ultimately there are several mechanisms that link obesity and endometrial cancer such as extra fat tissue and estrogen levels which is linked to higher risk of tumors or metastasis in the body. Obesity also causes chronic inflammation which can resist insulin and increase estrogen levels continuously. According to Dr. Ward, uterine cancer is driven by estrogen in the body.
Bariatric surgery is responsible for reducing the impact of these risk factors by normalizing hormone levels in the body and allowing for improved health. Dr. Ward says the obesity epidemic is a complication problem. “More work needs to be done to define the role of bariatric surgery in cancer care and prevention of female cancers. We do know that women with endometrial cancer are much more likely to die of cardiovascular health issues then they are of the cancer itself.”