How Bariatric Surgery Can Help Cancer Patients
Cancer is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many people. Characterized by the uncontrollable division of abnormal cells in the body, there are more than 200 different types of cancer. Is it also currently the leading cause of death in the world and has devastated millions of families across the globe. Understandably, an increasing number of people are now taking steps to minimize their risk of developing any type of cancer in the future. One of the key risk factors that has been identified in the development of cancer is obesity.
Obesity and cancer
Being significantly overweight is bad for general health, and it can affect crucial functions in our body, such as those in the respiratory and circulatory systems. People who are obese have also been proven to have a much greater risk of developing several, specific cancers.
This is because extra fat in the body can alter hormone production and growth factors, affecting the way that our cells work. For example, too much body fat can cause insulin levels to rise. This can tell cells to divide more often, increasing the likelihood that the cells will change and become cancerous.
Research has shown that as many as 13 types of cancer are directly linked to obesity. These include cancers of the:
- breast (specifically after menopause)
- upper stomach
- meningioma (a form of brain tumor)
- myeloma (a variety of blood cancer)
Losing weight could significantly reduce the likelihood of someone suffering from obesity-related cancers during their life. While a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of exercise can help lose weight, many patients still struggle to shift the excess pounds.
How bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of cancer
Bariatric surgery is an ideal weight loss solution for someone who is obese and struggling to lose weight through conventional, non-surgical methods. However, there is another added benefit to bariatric surgery. A study of more than 22,000 bariatric surgery patients, completed by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, found that bariatric surgery led to a 33% lower risk of developing any type of cancer. It also showed that the surgery was particularly beneficial for lowering the risk of obesity-related cancers, such as cancer of the colon and pancreas.
Another study, this time by investigators involved in the Swedish Obese Subjects study, reported similar results but with an emphasis on reducing the risk of female-specific cancers including post-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer amongst others. This is believed to be linked to estrogen levels, which drop drastically when a patient experiences significant weight loss.
Can bariatric surgery still help me if I have already been diagnosed with cancer?
Cancer can be an extremely aggressive disease, and patients who have already received a cancer diagnosis should focus all of their energies on fighting the condition. However, once you are in remission, if your BMI indicates that you are obese, and you are unable to lose weight through diet and exercise alone, it would be worth speaking to your doctor about whether you may be suitable for bariatric surgery.
As the studies above have shown, losing weight could reduce the likelihood of cancer returning, or a new cancer developing. Want to learn more about Bariatric Surgery? Call Bariatric Mexico Surgery today at (844) 669-5400.