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Study Explores Risk of Colorectal Cancer After Bariatric Surgery

By: Kelly M. Hennessey, PhD
Posted: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Obese individuals who underwent bariatric surgery had a significantly reduced risk of subsequently developing colorectal cancer compared with obese individuals who did not undergo this surgery, according to S. Almazeedi, MD, of the Jaber Al-Ahmed Hospital, Kuwait, and colleagues. The results of their meta-analysis, which were published in the British Journal of Surgery, indicate the need for further investigation in higher-quality studies.

The researchers analyzed articles published in Ovid Embase, Ovid MEDINE, Cochrane CENRAL, and Web of Science from the time of inception through 2018. They investigated an association between the most commonly performed bariatric surgeries and individuals’ risk of eventually developing colorectal cancer. In total, 7 large studies (involving 1,213,727 individuals) containing the terms bariatric surgery, gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, vertical banded gastroplasty, along with colorectal/bowel/rectal/colon cancer, and neoplasms met the inclusion criteria. Patients who had bariatric surgery had a greater than 35% reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer compared with obese individuals who did not have surgery.

“In addition to the numerous benefits of bariatric surgery, such as a reduction in the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal diseases, patients also gain a significant reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer,” explained Dr. Almazeedi. Although the literature seems clear regarding the risk reduction for colorectal cancer after bariatric surgery, there are discrepancies in the effect of bariatric surgery on rectal cancer. Additionally, the rate of colorectal cancer differs among the different types of bariatric surgery and due to the nature of the data, but no definitive conclusions have been drawn.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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