A recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that weight-loss surgery like bariatric surgery could help reduce the risk of certain cancers. A study analyzed the health and cancer information of more than 30,000 patient records between 2004 and 2017. Every patient had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35, which is marked as class 2 or moderate risk obesity. The researchers found that patients who underwent weight-loss surgery were 32% less likely to develop cancer and nearly 50% less likely to pass away of cancer complications when compared to patients who did not but likely could have benefitted from bariatric surgery.
Intrigued by this result, the researchers then used roughly 5,000 medical records from patients who had gastric bypass surgery and had no prior cancer diagnoses. Reaffirming the study’s original findings, that set of patients seemed to be 40% less likely to develop cancer and about 50% less likely to pass away from it. Notably, the risk reduction was universal when considering all age, sex, and race demographics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have long considered obesity a risk factor for various cancers. The recent research results seem to reverify the link between unsafe weight gain and cancer diagnoses. But it also suggests that weight loss, even medically assisted weight loss, can effectively reverse that risk.
(For more information about this study, you can click here to view a full article from The Washington Post. Log-in or subscription might be required.)
Weight-Loss Surgery Risks & Complications
Although the news that weight-loss surgery might help reduce the risk of cancer is encouraging, it is important to understand that such surgeries can have risks of their own, especially if not performed correctly. Bariatric surgery is complex, and problems can occur during the procedure and follow-up care. These problems can range from infections to blood clots in the lungs to nerve damage, neurological damage, and life-threatening complications, such as peritonitis and sepsis.
If you are considering weight-loss surgery to help control your weight and possibly reduce your risk of cancer, then you should always speak with your doctor and other medical experts. Ask if the benefits of such a procedure would be greater than the possible risks. You should also be fully informed of any complications that could arise.
If you undergo weight-loss surgery and suffer complications, you should contact Simonson Goodman Platzer PC. Our knowledgeable, experienced bariatric surgery attorneys understand the problems that can occur during and after surgery, as well as the errors and neglect that could have caused them. We would be happy to help determine if you have a medical malpractice claim to pursue.