Lower Your Cancer Risk With Weight Loss Surgery

Health Topics

Add cancer to the list of health problems you may avoid through weight loss surgery.

“We’ve known that there’s a strong link between obesity and cancer,” says Joe Northup, MD, FACS, with Premier Weight Loss Solutions. “In fact, it’s a very strong relationship; the higher your body mass index or the more weight you have, the more likely you’ll have incidents of cancer.”

New research shows that for those with obesity, weight loss surgery can reduce this cancer risk. A study released by Cleveland Clinic Florida found that overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of 13 types of cancer.

“There are different risks associated with cancer and obesity, especially the hormonal types of cancer,” Dr. Northup explains. “Anything that has a hormonal component is impacted by weight. Our fatty tissues secrete hormones. One of the reasons we see this increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and blood pressure is because of the function of fat tissue.”

The new study found that if you have obesity, weight loss surgery can cut your overall risk of developing cancers with a hormone component by 20 percent. “This most recent research confirms past results that showed that weight loss surgery reduces the incidence of most types of cancers, especially those that are hormonally related,” Dr. Northup notes. “We’re also seeing increased survival after weight loss surgery in people who have had breast cancer previously.”

Hormonally related cancers include:

Should I Consider Weight Loss Surgery?

“I’ve seen the tremendous benefits of weight loss surgery. With diet and exercise it helps people with obesity achieve a healthy weight and avoid medical problems,” says Dr. Northup. “If you have obesity and also a family history of cancer, that should only increase your interest in weight loss surgery. The surgery can reduce your chances of developing cancer and also increase your survivability if you’ve already had cancer.”

What Other Medical Problems Can the Surgery Help Me Avoid?

The results of weight loss surgery can be dramatic. In addition to reducing your cancer risk, other likely improvements include:

To learn more about reducing your risk of cancer through weight loss surgery, talk to your doctor or health care provider or search for a provider.