Weight Loss Surgery May Lower Your Risk of Colon Cancer

A new study shows that weight loss surgery may reduce your risk of developing colon cancer. Here’s what you need to know.

Weight loss surgery offers wide-ranging benefits, including lowering your risk for serious health conditions. As obesity has been shown to increase your chances of developing certain types of cancers, losing weight through bariatric surgery can help keep you safe and healthy.

Colon cancer in particular has been linked to obesity. Overall, people suffering from obesity have a 34 percent higher risk of colon cancer than those who are at a healthy weight. Fortunately, a promising new study indicates that people who undergo bariatric surgery can both lose a significant amount of weight and reduce their risk of developing this potentially life-threatening cancer. 

New Study Finds Weight Loss Surgery May Reduce Cancer Risk

The American Cancer Society estimates that excess body weight is at least partially responsible for eight percent of all cancers and seven percent of all cancer deaths. But why is the risk of cancer elevated for people with obesity? 

We often think about obesity in terms of weight-related diseases like high blood pressure or vascular problems. However, excess weight has also been meaningfully connected to several chronic diseases, including those that can lead to more serious conditions. For example, people who are overweight or obese often don’t produce enough insulin, which can cause insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. These two conditions have both been linked to colon cancer. 

Researchers at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice decided to dig a little deeper into the connection between colon cancer and obesity — and find out if bariatric surgery can actually reduce your risk. From 2009 to 2018, they observed over 1 million people with obesity between the ages of 50 and 75. Researchers followed up with study participants over five years, and found that 0.6 percent of participants who had bariatric surgery developed colon cancer. Participants who did not have the surgery had a colon cancer rate closer to 1.3 percent. This study also found that there were fewer cases of colon cancer in participants who had gastric bypass and gastric sleeve than those who had gastric band

The difference between 0.6 and 1.3 percent might sound small, but let’s do the math. Based on this study’s results, 7,000 fewer people developed colon cancer after bariatric surgery. That’s a lot of lives saved! 

Additional Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery can reduce your risk of developing serious health conditions like colon cancer, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, but that’s not all. At Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, we also like to emphasize the additional benefits of weight loss surgery that can have a big impact on your life. 

Weight loss surgery can improve your quality of life by helping you become more active and engaged in the world around you. Bariatric surgery helps you lose weight and keep it off by making your stomach smaller and jumpstarting your metabolism, which further empowers you to stick to healthy meal plans. Also, losing weight relieves painful pressure on your joints and makes it easier and more enjoyable for you to exercise.

Weight loss surgery can also improve your mental health. For people who are overweight, negative comments from others combined with negative self-talk can really take a toll on their self-esteem. Luckily, numerous studies have shown that once people change their lives with weight loss surgery, they often feel less depressed, more confident, and more excited to try new things.  

Ready to Change Your Life?

If you’re interested in learning more about weight loss surgery and its numerous benefits, contact the specialists at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors today. Our dedicated team will answer any questions you may have and help you get started on your journey to the new you.