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Reuters Health: Weight-loss surgery tied to lowered risk of colorectal cancer

Finding supports what UC researcher has been saying about bariatric surgery

Obese people who have weight-loss surgery may also lower their risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to a report from Reuters Health. Obesity has long been linked to increased risk of colorectal tumors and other types of cancer, as well as a greater risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Losing weight is thought to reduce these risks.

Reuters Health cited a study from Kuwaiti researcher, Dr. Sulaiman Almazeedi, and interviewed Dr. Daniel Schauer, an assistant professor in the University of Cincinnati Department of Internal Medicine, for a story. Schauer, also a UC Health physician, did not take part in the study, but offered his comments.

The study examined data from seven previous studies that followed more than 1.2 million patients for about seven years, on average. Colorectal cancer was rare: just 638 people developed these tumors during the study.

When people lose weight after bariatric surgery, many changes happen that impact cancer risk, explained Schauer, who was not part of the study.

“Perhaps most importantly for colorectal cancer risk, the body has less inflammation and many of the (tumor) growth factors associated with obesity are decreased,” Schauer told Reuters Health. “These are strongly related to the amount of weight loss.”

Read the Reuters Health story online.

Also check out Dr. Schauer’s research on bariatric surgery and colorectal cancer.

Schauer discusses cancer risk and bariatric surgery