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Tijuana Bariatric Center Blog

The Connection between Obesity and Cancer

Illustration of cells in an arteryAt Tijuana Bariatric Center, we provide a full range of bariatric surgery options, including gastric sleeve, single incision laparoscopic sleeve (SILS), gastric sleeve plication, and gastric bypass surgery, because we understand what a profound difference these surgeries can make to people’s lives. In many cases, bariatric surgery can represent the difference between life and death. We are proud to be in a position to give people who are struggling with morbid obesity a new lease on life.

Over the years, obesity has been connected with an increased risk of many life-threatening diseases, including cancer. Fortunately, the sort of massive weight loss made possible through bariatric surgery and a subsequent commitment to a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce cancer risks. Drs. Fernando Garcia and David Vazquez discuss the connection between obesity and cancer during consultations at their Tijuana, BC bariatric center so that patients fully understand the consequences of obesity and can weigh the risks of surgery against the risks of remaining obese. In general, it is far preferable to undergo bariatric surgery.

If you would like to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Garcia or Dr. Vazquez, please contact Tijuana Bariatric Center today.

What Is the Link between Obesity and Cancer?

Studies have shown that there is a link between obesity and the following types of cancer:

  • Pancreatic
  • Esophageal
  • Colonic and rectal
  • Breast (after menopause)
  • Kidney
  • Endometrial
  • Thyroid
  • Gallbladder

There is not yet definitive evidence pointing to links between obesity and cancers of the prostate, ovaries, and liver; however, studies are currently being conducted into the possibility of such links.

As to why there is a link between obesity and cancer, the National Cancer Institute acknowledges the following theories as being plausible in the scientific community:

  • Insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are often found in higher levels in the blood of obese people. This can contribute to the development of certain tumors.
  • Obese people have excess fat tissue, which can lead to higher levels of estrogen in the body. This, in turn, can lead to increased risk of breast, endometrial, and certain other cancers.
  • Fat cells produce adipokines, hormones that may stimulate or stifle cell development. Obese people tend to have higher levels of leptin, for instance, which encourages the development of cells, while they tend to have lower levels of adiponectin, which has the opposite effect.
  • Obese people commonly have chronic low-level inflammation, which can increase the risk of cancer.
  • Obese people often have impaired immune responses.

People who have dealt with dramatic fluctuations in their weight, especially in adulthood, are also at greater risk for cancer than those who have not.

It is important to understand that bariatric surgery alone is not going to reduce a person’s risk for cancer. Patients must be willing to commit to healthy post-surgical lifestyles, including limited portions of healthy foods and strong exercise regimens.

Learn More about Obesity and Cancer

To learn more about the connection between obesity and cancer and how it can be reduced through massive weight loss, please contact Tijuana Bariatric Center today.

Tagged In: Obesity, Bariatric Surgery

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