According to a study that has spanned over 20 years and has analyzed over one million patients, researchers have found that weight loss surgery significantly lowers the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. During this study, over 10,000 of the one million participants received bariatric surgery at some point. This particular study occurred in the UK but the results of this study are applicable here in the states as well, as both countries have experienced a rise in diabetes, cancer, and obesity in the last several years.
According to the study, bariatric surgery resulted in a 33% decrease in instances of pancreatic cancer in bariatric surgery patients compared to the population who did not have surgery. Dr. Adam Smith notes that “we have known for a very long time about the risks of obesity associated with breast and colon cancer, and this study confirms one more deadly disease risk that can be altered with weight loss surgery”.
What we see in this study is not surprising, as “bariatric surgery has been shown to improve high blood sugar levels in diabetic patients” and therefore be beneficial to the health of the pancreas.
50,000 people in the United States each year are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It is estimated that 47,000 people will die this year as a result. (Cancer.net) According to the article, patients average only 4.6 months from diagnosis to death and it is often overlooked (known as a “silent killer”). Reducing risk through weight loss and managing diabetes will help lower people’s risk of getting the disease. And, with a disease that strikes as quickly as pancreatic cancer, it is crucial we do all we can to take preventative measures.
If you have any questions about pancreatic health or any other health concerns that may be alleviated with bariatric surgery, please do not hesitate to give us a call to schedule a consultation. We have a number of different procedures that we offer and we want to make sure our patients find the procedure that will best meet their health needs.