According to a new study undertaken by Swedish researchers, women who have had their stomachs clipped or stapled have double health benefits. While they are able to lose weight easily, cancer risks faced by them is almost 40 per cent lower in comparison to the women who haven't stapled their stomach. Following examination of over 2,000 obese people who had undergone surgery to lessen their stomach size during the course of the study, the researchers discovered that women who had opted for the procedure were less prone to cancer than who did not have the surgery.
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The findings of the research that were made public in the online medical journal, Lancet Oncology, said that for some reason or the other, the results were different in the case of men who had the surgery. In fact, the researchers found no distinction in the cancer incidents in men who had undergone the surgery in comparison to those who had not.
It may be mentioned here that an earlier research on the same subject had demonstrated that the life span of men and women who had undergone the stomach stapling surgery was extended by around 10 years in comparison to those who did not have the surgery. In addition to this, findings of two separate studies have hinted that women in particular who had this weight loss surgery faced lesser cancer risks owing to the elimination of obesity.
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For years, scientists were of the belief that the risk of falling prey to deadly cancer was higher with obese people. Perhaps this view gained ground owing to the fact that the fat cells generate hormones that may cause the lethal disorder. However, physicians have not been able to establish that shedding extra flab by additional methods, such as dieting, helps to lower the risk of cancer. According to Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, a physician from the American Cancer Society who was not associated with the research undertaken by Lancet Oncology, although there appears to be some relation between obesity and cancer, there is a broken thread somewhere that the doctors are still unable to comprehend.
It may be noted here that from 1987, the Swedish researchers pursued as many as 2,010 people suffering from obesity after these patients' stomachs were staples for approximately a decade. The researchers had set a body mass index of over 34 and 38 to measure the obesity among men and women respectively. According to the experts, the body mass index of a normal person varies between 19 and 25. In addition, during the same period, the researchers also followed 2,037 fat people who did not undergo the weight loss surgery. They found that on an average the obese patients who had the surgery lost around 20 kilograms or 44 pounds after stapling their stomach. On the other hand, most of the obese people who did not have the surgery gained a little more than one kilogram (two pounds, three ounces) on an average.
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During the course of the study researchers found that 79 women who had undergone the weight lost surgery had cancer even after stapling their stomach. On the other hand, 139 women who did not have the surgery got the deadly disease. In fact, women from both the groups had different types of cancer - breast cancer, skin cancer as well as blood cancer. Among the men folk, 38 had developed cancer even after having the surgery, while 39 men who did not undergo the surgery had the disease, showing that the weight loss operation had little impact on men vis-à-vis having cancer. Hence, the reduction of risk cancer only among women having the surgery has really confounded the researchers and other experts as well.
According to Lars Sjostrom of the University Hospital in Sweden who was the lead author of the paper prepared on the findings of the research, one of the reasons why they failed to find any impact of the surgery on men was probably because too few obese men were involved with the research. The male participation in the research was just around one-fourth of the total subjects. Interestingly, the researchers led by Lars Sjostrom also discovered that losing weight without the stomach stapling surgery or lesser intake of calorie also did not have any influence on the number of cancer cases. Sjostrom has said that presently the research team was looking into new potentialities, such as genetics, to elucidate the diminished risks of cancer in people having the weight loss operation. Like Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, Lars Sjostrom too accepted the existence of an unidentified aspect that was responsible for the reduced risk of developing cancer and they were yet to ascertain that specific factor.
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In fact, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld has assumed that the stomach stapling operations may perhaps have various impacts on hormones or some additional matter in our body and that could eventually diminish the possibilities of developing cancer. Meanwhile, other experts have emphasized on the need to reduce weight with a view to thwart cancer. It is believed that nearly half of the cancer incidents may be avoided simply by changing people's way of life and this includes losing weight. According to Julie Sharp of the Cancer Research United Kingdom, if the risks of cancer can be inverted by changing people's lifestyle, it is definitely great news for all concerned. She said that people should realize that they always don't have to do remarkable things such as undergoing a surgery to diminish the possibilities of developing cancer. Instead, they are able to amend their individual risk aspects by making modifications in their respective lifestyles.