LivingLosing weight may lower your risk of skin cancer

Losing weight may lower your risk of skin cancer

In Spain alone, there are already about 4,000 cases of melanoma a year, as the numbers have not stopped growing in the last 30 years. In countries like the United States, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. In 2014 alone, there were almost 80,000 new cases, and by the end of 2018, it is estimated that there will be more than 90,000.

Understanding the risk factors behind each type of cancer is important to minimize risk for the general population. Obesity is known to be a risk factor for many types of cancer, including endometrial, liver, kidney, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer.

Now, a team of researchers led by Magdalena Taube, from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), set out to investigate in more detail the role of obesity in the risk of melanoma, a rapidly growing form of skin cancer. They have presented their findings at the European Congress on Obesity, which was held in Vienna, Austria.

Obesity and melanoma

Previous research concluded that obesity increases both the risk and growth rate of melanoma. In the recent study, however, the researchers wanted to know if losing weight would produce the opposite and therefore positive effect: if it would reduce the level of risk of skin cancer.

To examine the link between obesity, weight loss, and melanoma, they took data from the Swedish Obese Subjects study, a project created to monitor the results of bariatric surgery compared to individuals using conventional obesity treatments.

The participants were more than 2,000 people who underwent obesity surgery and a similar number of control participants with whom they compared a wide variety of parameters, including age, sex, body measurements, personality traits and factors. cardiovascular risk.

Their analysis showed that those who had undergone surgery had a significantly lower risk of developing melanoma over the next 18 years.


A 61% risk reduction

In fact, compared to the control group, the operated individuals saw a 61% decrease in their risk of developing malignant melanoma, and a 42% lower risk of all types of skin cancer.

“In this long-term study, bariatric surgery reduced the risk of malignant melanoma. This finding supports the idea that obesity is a risk factor for melanoma and indicates that weight loss in obese individuals may reduce the risk of a lethal form of cancer that has risen steadily in many countries for several decades, “the authors state.

The link between skin cancer and obesity is somewhat surprising, and more studies will be needed to find out exactly why this effect occurs. The findings mark another worrisome health risk associated with obesity, but they also offer a potential route to reduce the dangers.

Reference: Magdalena Taube, University of Gothenburg (Sweden). European Obesity Congress in Vienna (Austria).

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