Weight Loss Surgery Pros Include Reduced Cancer Risk For Women

Coco Swan's picture

Two separate studies recently released have both shown that possibly one of the most impressive weight loss surgery pros is the proven reduction in cancers for women. 

We have all known that excessive weight is bad for your health and increases your chances of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. However, it would now appear that obesity is definitely linked to some forms of cancer. In the US alone, 20% of women who die from cancer are obese, and for men the figure is 14%.

One reason? Many hormones are produced in proportion to body weight. An obese woman is going to have far more estrogen floating around her body than a woman in the healthy weight range. As many cancers are hormonally driven, this would mean that overweight women would have a much higher chance of contracting breast and endometrial cancers, which are fed by the estrogen hormone.

The Swedish Study.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, followed 4,047 obese patients over a 10 year period. 2,010 of these patients had weight loss surgery, and the remaining 2,037 were on diet and exercise campaigns. The patients who had received the weight loss operations had a 42% less chance of developing cancer when compared to the patients who did not have the surgery.

Overall, the patients who had weight loss surgery lost an average of 43 pounds, or almost 20 kilos, compared to the diet group who gained on average 3 pounds, or 1.3 kilos over the same time frame.Interestingly, men in the study did not show the same reduction in cancer as the women. Experts had a couple of explanations for this. Firstly, there were not as many men in the study. Secondly, men do not have the female hormone estrogen.

The Canadian Study.

Researchers at the McGill University in Montreal followed weight loss surgery patients for 5 years. (Some of these patients had had their operations up to 15 years ago.) Their study showed that breast cancer was reduced by as much as 85% and colon cancer by 70%. 


Not all of the links between obesity and cancer are understood. However, the fact remains, obese women who undergo weight loss operations will reduce their chances of contracting cancer significantly.  More than 200,000 patients have weight loss surgery each year in the United States alone, with the figure growing by about 5% annually.

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