Weight loss surgery re­duces skin can­cer risk — Study

The Punch - - NEWS -

RE­SEARCHERS in a re­cent study pub­lished in the jour­nal, JAMA Der­ma­tol­ogy, have said that iden­ti­fied risk fac­tors as­so­ci­ated with me­lanoma, such as fair skin, fam­ily history and in­di­vid­u­als with obe­sity, who un­dergo weight loss surgery, have a re­duced risk of de­vel­op­ing skin can­cer, in­clud­ing me­lanoma.

Ac­cord­ing to med­i­cal­new­sto­day.com, me­lanoma ac­counts for just one per cent of skin can­cer cases, but it causes the ma­jor­ity of deaths from this type of dis­ease.

Au­thors of a re­cent study noted that an es­ti­mated 96,480 new me­lanoma di­ag­noses are recorded each year in the United States.

A Swedish study in 2009 found that women with obe­sity who un­dergo bari­atric surgery have a re­duced risk of can­cer. When the re­sults were pub­lished, there was not enough data to as­sess whether weight loss surgery im­pacted skin can­cer risk, specif­i­cally.

How­ever, re­searchers have con­tin­ued to fol­low the par­tic­i­pants in the orig­i­nal study, now for an av­er­age of 18.1 years. A team re­cently re­vis­ited the dataset to in­ves­ti­gate the as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween bari­atric surgery and skin can­cer, in­clud­ing me­lanoma.

The new anal­y­sis in­cluded data from 2,007 in­di­vid­u­als with obe­sity, who un­der­went bari­atric surgery, and 2,040 matched con­trol par­tic­i­pants who had obe­sity but only re­ceived con­ven­tional treat­ment, such as ad­vice on life­style at their pri­mary health care cen­tres.

The re­searchers found that the largest dif­fer­ence be­tween the two groups con­cerned was ma­lig­nant me­lanoma. In the con­trol group, there were 29 cases of the dis­ease, while in the surgery group, there were just 12 cases. This equates to a 57 per cent re­duc­tion in ma­lig­nant me­lanoma risk.

The first au­thor of the study, Dr Mag­dalena Taube, wrote, “This pro­vides fur­ther ev­i­dence for a con­nec­tion be­tween obe­sity and ma­lig­nant skin can­cer and for the view that we should re­gard obe­sity as a risk fac­tor for these forms of can­cer.”

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