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Obesity and cancer

January 9, 2020

Did you know that, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, after not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the best thing you can do to lower your risk of getting cancer? Being overweight or obese increases the risk for at least 12 cancers, including mouth, liver, kidney, stomach, colorectal, prostate, esophageal, breast, pancreatic, ovarian, and endometrial. Approximately 7 in 10 Americans are overweight or obese. The scary thing is, only about 52% of Americans are aware of the link between obesity and cancer.

Studies showing the link between obesity and cancer come from cohort studies, which are a type of observational study. The results from an observational study can be difficult, because there are other ways in which overweight and obese individuals could differ from individuals at a healthy weight. The study doesn’t determine that, which is why only a link can be established, and not causality. However, consistent results show that higher body fat is linked to an increased risk of a slew of different cancers. Risks for obese individuals are usually twice as high for endometrial, esophageal, liver, and kidney cancer versus normal-weight people. The risks for those who are extremely obese are higher.

There are several reasons that obesity may increase the risk for certain cancers. Some believe it has to do with chronic low-level inflammation, which is common among obese individuals. Over time, this can lead to DNA damage, which leads to cancer. High levels of estrogen are linked to increased risk of some cancers, like breast cancer, and fat tissue produces excess estrogen. Fat cells also produce adipokines, which are hormones that can stimulate or inhibit cell growth.

Obese people can also have increased insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1, which may increase the risk of certain cancers.

It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, complete with a balanced diet and exercise, to lower your risk of these cancers. Fewer studies have looked into the association between weight loss and cancer risks. However, studies completed on obese individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery reveal that their risk for obesity-related cancers is lower than their counterparts who did not have bariatric surgery.


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Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here or talk with your doctor.