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Bariatric surgery and cancer

Surgery may reduce hormone-related cancer, but increase CRC risk

The researchers note that additional studies are needed to understand the biological mechanisms behind these findings

An analysis examining the impact of bariatric surgery on cancer has indicated that bariatric surgery may affect an individual's risk of developing cancer, although the researchers note that additional studies are needed to understand the biological mechanisms behind these findings.

The paper, ‘Obesity surgery and risk of cancer’, was published in the British Journal of Surgery, by researchers from Imperial College London, UK, King's College London, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK, and the Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

It is known that obesity increases the risk of several types of cancer, however it is not known whether bariatric surgery influences the risk of obesity‐related. Previous studies have indicated that bariatric surgery reduces the risk of certain cancers. This study sought to uncover the risk of hormone‐related (breast, endometrial and prostate), colorectal and oesophageal cancers following bariatric surgery.

In this national population‐based cohort study, the researchers used data from the Hospital Episode Statistics database in England collected between 1997 and 2012. Propensity matching on sex, age, co‐morbidity and duration of follow‐up was used to compare cancer risk among 8,794 individuals with obesity undergoing bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy) and 8,794 individuals with obesity not undergoing surgery.

The researchers found that compared with the no‐surgery group, patients who had bariatric surgery exhibited a 77% decreased risk of developing hormone-related cancer (breast, endometrial or prostate cancer), compared with patients who did not have surgery.

Gastric bypass resulted in the largest risk reduction for hormone‐related cancers (84%), however gastric bypass was associated with a greater than twofold increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but not for gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy.

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