Thursday, December 02, 2021

In Yet Another Win, Bariatric Surgery Reduces Cancer Risk In Long Term Study

Before you read any further know that I'm NOT a surgeon.

I think it could be fairly argued that as far as surgical impact and benefits go, there are few that rival bariatric surgery.

Shown to prolong life, regularly push many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea (and so many more) into remission, and dramatically improve subjective quality of life, for so many, bariatric surgery provides a new lease on life.

Well add to the aforementioned list a reduced risk of cancer. While not particularly surprising of course given the relationship between weight and some of our most common cancers, here's new data from the now over 2 decades old SOS study which demonstrates reduced cancer risk in patients who opted for surgery vs. weight matched medically managed controls. 

For those of us who have the good fortune of working with patients who've had bariatric surgery, we know just how life changing it can be. What's shocking though, is the comfort of those who don't work with this category of patients to look down on surgery, or fearmonger about it, and this sadly also includes people in the health care community..

The data is clear. Bariatric surgery is remarkable. That said, I'm hopeful that in 20-30 years, it'll no longer be necessary and will be replaced by medications that lead to surgical degrees of weight loss without the surgery. Until then however, I'm thankful the option of bariatric surgery exists, and if you're not, you're either ignorant or an ideologue.