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Bariatric Surgery Linked to Reduced Risk for Skin Cancer

For individuals with obesity, risk for skin cancer and melanoma significantly reduced with bariatric surgery

THURSDAY, Oct. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For individuals with obesity, bariatric surgery is associated with a reduced risk for skin cancer, including melanoma, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in JAMA Dermatology.

Magdalena Taube, Ph.D., from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues examined the correlation of bariatric surgery with skin cancer and melanoma incidence in the Swedish Obese Subjects nonrandomized controlled trial. A total of 2,007 patients with obesity who underwent bariatric surgery and 2,040 contemporaneous matched controls who received conventional obesity treatment were included; information on cancer events was available for 4,042 patients.

The researchers found that bariatric surgery was associated with significantly reduced risks for melanoma and skin cancer in general (adjusted subhazard ratios, 0.43 and 0.59, respectively). The reduction in skin cancer risk did not correlate with baseline body mass index or weight; insulin, glucose, lipid, and creatinine levels; diabetes; blood pressure; alcohol intake; or smoking.

“The global obesity epidemic has been accompanied by increased incidences of many serious diseases, including cancer,” the authors write. “These findings suggest that melanoma incidence is significantly reduced in patients with obesity after bariatric surgery and may lead to a better understanding of melanoma and preventable risk factors.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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