Can Bariatric Surgery Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer?

February 8, 2018 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Bariatric Surgery Cancer

Women exercising at the trackPeople who are obese or overweight are more likely to experience health issues later in life. This is why it’s important to consider losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise. When those do not work, professional obesity treatment is ideal.

The team at our Tijuana, MX bariatric surgery center have talked up the many benefits of bariatric surgery over the years. One such benefit is reducing the risk of various cancers, including breast cancer.

Obesity Increases Your Risk for Cancer

Studies have shown time and again that being overweight or obese can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer later in life, as well as several types of breast cancer. The exact cause of this heightened risk can vary, though some of the potential mechanisms involved are as follows:

  • Low-Level Inflammation - Obese individuals suffer from low-level inflammation that can lead to DNA damage. This can lead to cancer.
  • Fat Cells and Hormones - Fatty tissue can produce excessive amounts of estrogen, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer. Similar, fat cells can produce hormones known as adipokines, which negatively impacts cell growth.
  • Increased Insulin Levels - Obese people tend to have issues with increased insulin in their blood, a condition that’s been linked to various kinds of cancers.

How Much Higher Is My Breast Cancer Risk If I’m Obese?

A higher than normal BMI is linked to a slight increase in breast cancer risk for women. Studies estimate a woman’s breast cancer risk increases by 12 percent prior to menopause if she is overweight or obese. For overweight or obese women after menopause, the breast cancer risk is increased by 20 percent to 40 percent.

Other Factors at Play in Breast Cancer Risk

In addition to obesity, there are other important factors that increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

  • Advanced Age - Women older than 50 are more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • Late Pregnancy or No Pregnancy - Women who have never had children or who have children after age 30 run a higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle - Women who do not exercise or lead inactive lifestyles tend to be at greater risk for developing breast cancer.
  • Dense or Voluminous Breasts - Women with dense, large breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the increased amount of fat tissue in dense breasts.
  • Family History - Women who have family members that experienced breast cancer are more likely to develop breast cancer themselves due to a potential genetic predisposition.

How Weight Loss Helps Reduce Cancer Risk

By losing weight, a person is able to improve their general wellness. In addition to losing harmful amounts of excessive body fat, a patient reduce their blood pressure and improves the overall general function of their body. Improved general wellness means the body can repair itself more efficiently.

In fact, there are some studies that suggest that bariatric surgery is more effective at preventing breast cancer than merely adjusting your diet. Part of this is due to the mechanisms for weight loss as well as the rate of weight loss.

Bariatric Procedures Offer Fast and Safe Weight Loss

If you are unable to lose weight through natural means, bariatric surgery may be the right option for you. These procedures reduce the amount of calories you consume, heaping promote weight loss.

By the end of a year to two years, patients will have lost a great deal of excess body weight. A healthier BMI will help women prevent breast cancer while also improving overall wellness. This includes a lower blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health, as well as a reduced risk of arthritis later in life.

Contact Tijuana Bariatrics

To learn more about the benefits of weight loss surgery and why it may be right for you and your needs, be sure to contact our team of weight loss surgeons today. The entire team at Tijuana Bariatrics is here to help you achieve total wellness.