Obesity and Cancer

Several studies have been conducted to examine the link between morbid obesity and cancer.

In 2001, experts at the National Cancer Institute concluded that several cancers are associated with obesity:

  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer (postmenopausal)
  • Endometrial cancer (lining of the uterus)
  • Kidney cancer
  • Esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma)

In 2003, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that obesity could account for:

  • 14 percent of all deaths from cancer in men
  • 20 percent of all deaths from cancer in women

A Proven Treatment Option

Several clinical studies of bariatric surgery show that surgery improved life expectancy in patients by at least 29 to 89 percent.

A Note on Relative Risk

Cancer and obesity are linked, but there is hope:

  • One recent study that examined the effect of intentional weight loss found that women who experienced intentional weight loss of 20 or more pounds and were not currently overweight had cancer rates at the level of healthy women who never lost weight.
  • Several clinical studies found that bariatric surgery reduced mortality in patients by 29 percent to 89 percent when compared to a group of people living with morbid obesity who had not had the surgery.