Bariatric Surgery Could Prevent Development of Uterine Cancer, Research Shows

A new report shows that bariatric surgery, which involves reducing the size of the stomach in an effort to reduce appetite, may help fight more than just obesity. In fact, this unique form of surgery might also help reduce the risk of uterine cancer.

That’s the finding of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center researchers behind a new study published in Gynecologic Oncology.

The theory is that obesity can increase the risk of developing uterine cancer. By upping the fight against obesity, bariatric procedures help in the war against this particular type of cancer.

“Estimating from various studies that looked at increasing BMI and endometrial cancer risk, a woman with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 would have approximately eight times greater risk of endometrial cancer than someone with a BMI of 25,” noted UC San Diego School of Medicine researcher Dr. Kristy Ward.

“This risk likely continues to go up as BMI goes up.”

The study involved an analysis of data related to more than 7.4 million patients in the University HealthSystem Consortium, a database containing information provided by academic hospitals and medical facilities located throughout the United States. Just over 100,000 people had undergone bariatric surgery, while roughly 44,000 had developed uterine cancer.

Ward’s team found that those who underwent bariatric surgery reduced their risk of developing uterine cancer by an incredible 71 per cent.

The researchers acknowledge that more research needs to be carried out. Nevertheless, so far it appears bariatric surgery can play an important role in warding off uterine cancer. According to Ward, it’s “clear that patients who are overweight and obese should be counseled about weight loss, and referral to a bariatric program should be considered in patients who meet criteria.”


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