Obesity ops ‘cut cancer risk in women’

June 24th, 2009 - 1:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 24 (ANI): Weight-loss surgery may help obese women, not men, lower their risk of developing cancer, claim Swedish researchers.

The study, which has been published in Lancet Oncology, has shown that weight-loss surgery is linked to a 42 percent reduction in cancer levels in women.

Experts believe the surgery’s impact on hormone levels could be key, reports The BBC.

To reach the conclusion, researchers followed 2,010 obese patients who had undergone weight-loss surgery for over an average period of 10.9 years. The researchers compared them with 2,037 obese who received other forms of treatment, or no treatment.

Over the time period, patients who had surgery shed an average of 19.9kg in weight, compared to an average of 1.3kg in the group who did not have surgery.

Among women, the number of first-time cancers was significantly lower in the surgery group than in the non-surgery group.

But surgery appeared to have no effect on men’s cancer risk, with 38 cases recorded in the surgery group, and 39 in the non-surgery group.

The beneficial effect of weight-loss surgery on women seemed to apply to a wide range of cancers.

Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, believed that hormone levels were probably the key, with weight-loss surgery reducing the amount of hormone-producing fat cells in the body.

“In obese men, the types of cancer most common are not so hormone sensitive and therefore not so directly influenced by weight loss,” he said.

“However, it may also be due to the development of cancers at later stage in life in men.

“In men, obesity is often goes hand in hand with a nutrient-poor diet, and lack of exercise and so even when weight loss has been achieved through surgery, unless these lifestyle issues are addressed, significant increased risk of some cancers will remain,” he added. (ANI)

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