By Kelly Young
Bariatric surgery is associated with lower risk for subsequent colorectal cancer, suggests an observational study in JAMA Surgery.
Researchers studied obese adults aged 50 to 75 years who were hospitalized in France. Colorectal cancer rates were compared between 74,000 who underwent bariatric surgery and 970,000 who did not.
During roughly 5 years’ follow-up, the rate of colorectal cancer was lower in the bariatric surgery group than in the nonsurgery group (0.6% vs. 1.3%). The lower risk was still significant when patients were matched based on clinical and other characteristics.
Those who underwent surgery had roughly the same colorectal cancer incidence as what is expected in the general population. Those who didn’t have surgery had about a 34% higher risk.
Commentators say this conflicts with some past research, implying “that the jury is still out on whether bariatric surgery increases or decreases incident [colorectal cancer] risk.”