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Weight-loss surgery slashes cancer risk


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Weight-loss surgery slashes cancer risk

Bariatric-surgery patients cut their overall odds of cancer by 80 percent

From MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25269713

updated 1:40 p.m. PT, Thurs., June. 19, 2008

Morbidly obese patients who undergo weight-loss surgery greatly reduce their risk of cancer, according to a study providing fresh evidence of health benefits from these increasingly common operations.

Researchers from McGill University in Montreal found that the people who underwent bariatric surgery saw reductions in particular in the risk for breast and colon cancer. Many people see dramatic weight loss after such surgery.

People who are deemed morbidly obese typically are at least 100 pounds overweight. The researchers tracked 1,035 such patients who had bariatric surgery for five years. They also monitored 5,746 patients who matched the surgery group in age, sex and weight but did not have this surgery.

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Those who underwent bariatric surgery had about an 80 percent lower risk of developing cancer, the study showed.

"The evidence is mounting that weight loss through weight-loss surgery, if you are extremely obese, is extremely beneficial both to your health as well as to your quality of life," Dr. Nicolas Christou, McGill's head of bariatric surgery who led the study, said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

In addition to cutting the incidence of breast cancer by about 85 percent and colon cancer by about 70 percent, those who underwent bariatric surgery also saw reductions in the risk for pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, uterine cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the researchers said.

Obesity linked to several cancers

Obesity raises the risk for several types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus and kidney, as well as numerous other diseases.

The study buttresses findings published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine that obese people who have bariatric surgery have a lower risk of death from heart disease, diabetes as well as cancer compared to obese people who do not have such surgery.

Bariatric surgery alters the digestive system's anatomy to cut the volume of food that can be eaten and digested.

In Christou's study, presented at a meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, most of the patients had gastric bypass surgery, which leaves the stomach smaller and permits food to bypass part of the small intestine.

"There's an old misconception that this is cosmetic surgery. But actually, people who are overweight don't live as long because a lot of them develop weight-related health problems that shorten their lives. What we see in all these studies is that when people lose the weight, their health gets better," said Dr. Daniel Gagne of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, who presented another study at the meeting.

An estimated 205,000 people underwent bariatric surgery in the United States last year.

Extra health benefits

Other studies unveiled at the meeting also described health benefits in people who lost weight after bariatric surgery.

Gagne's study showed that most patients with asthma and arthritis were able to stop taking steroids to treat the conditions within about a year of having bariatric surgery.

The study involved 49 morbidly obese patients who were taking steroids and other immunosuppressant medications to treat chronic inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases.

New York University researchers showed that losing less than half of excess weight within a year of bariatric surgery was enough for patients to see dramatic improvements in type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and sleep apnea.

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Similar story on ABC News, this one is a video: http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/pop...23&src=news

and a longer article on the same subject: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/OnCall/story?...7121&page=1

This seems to be BIG BIG news to the WLS community

In the video the guy says that the average patient considering WLS:

Has been overweight for 20 years

Has been on 24 diets

Has been looking into surgery for 3 years

Pretty interesting!!

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Thanks for the interesting info. I know that I fit the example they used. I have been over 100 pounds overweight for over 32 years. I have only begun this journey with a 21 pound weight loss and I have already been able to stop some of my medications and I have not even had a fill yet. With out a doubt the best thing I have ever done for myself was to get banded.

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Hi All:

Great job again Michelle! Along with cancer I can attest to the diabetic cure as well; I had my surgery on April 18th. At the time my AC1 was 7.9. I just got my AC1 checked and it is down to 5 with my avreage blood sugar at 91, and that is with no medication! I was able to quit the medication after about two weeks from the day of surgery. This was reason enough to have the surgery done! Well the weight loss is great too!

Amy

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I have been cancer-free for 4 and half years, now. I am hoping that this surgery will also continue to lower my risk as I loose weight.

This is good information. Thanks, Michele.

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Hi All:

Great job again Michelle! Along with cancer I can attest to the diabetic cure as well; I had my surgery on April 18th. At the time my AC1 was 7.9. I just got my AC1 checked and it is down to 5 with my avreage blood sugar at 91, and that is with no medication! I was able to quit the medication after about two weeks from the day of surgery. This was reason enough to have the surgery done! Well the weight loss is great too!

Amy

Oh Amy, that's AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice work!

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I have been cancer-free for 4 and half years, now. I am hoping that this surgery will also continue to lower my risk as I loose weight.

This is good information. Thanks, Michele.

That is amazing news, DiamondJim! Congratulations to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate the news updates whenever you post them.

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That is amazing news, DiamondJim! Congratulations to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks. This Nov if my bloodwork and cat scans come back clean, I will celebrate 5 years.

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