Bariatric surgery may reduce the risk of cancer for obese patients

New York, March 28 (IANS): Bariatric surgery can significantly reduce the risk of cancer in individuals with severe obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), say researchers, of Indian origin.

In addition to an overall reduction in cancer risk for obese people, the findings show that bariatric surgery was associated with significant risk reductions in these people for the obesity-related cancers – colorectal cancers, pancreatic, endometrial and thyroid, as well as hepatocellular carcinoma and multiple myeloma.

“We knew that obesity leads to certain problems, including cancer, but no one had ever looked the other way – did weight loss actually reduce the risk of these cancers, “said researcher Vinod K. Rustgi of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in the USA.

“Our study showed that all cancers were reduced, but obesity-related cancers were reduced even more. In particular, it showed a reduction in risk for all types of cancer by 18 percent, with the reduce the risk for obesity-related cancers by 25 percent. When comparing cirrhotic patients against non-cirrhotic patients, the risk of cancer was reduced by 38 percent and 52 percent, respectively, ” Rustgi added.

For the study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, the research team looked at unidentified claims data of more than 98,000 privately insured people aged 18 to 64 years, diagnosed with severe obesity and NAFLD between 2007 and 2017.

Of those, more than a third (34.1 percent) received bariatric surgery.

According to the researchers, the results of the study offer clinicians a hands-on insight and building blocks for future studies on the link between NAFLD and cancer.

“Understanding the link between NAFLD and cancer could identify new targets and treatments, such as antidiabetic-, satiety-, or GLP-1-based drugs, for chemoprevention in NAFLD / NASH,” the researchers said. -research.

“While bariatric surgery is a more aggressive approach than lifestyle changes, surgery may offer additional benefits, such as better quality of life and reduced long-term health care costs,” he said. note them.