1Department of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, University of New South Wales, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia.
2Department of General Surgery, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown Hospital, Campbelltown, NSW 2560, Australia.
The study aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence for the prevention of future cancers following bariatric surgery. A systematic literature search of the Cochrane Library, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science and PubMed databases (2007-2023), Google Scholar and grey literature was conducted. A meta-analysis was performed using the inverse variance method and random effects model. Thirty-two studies involving patients with obesity who received bariatric surgery and control patients who were managed with conventional treatment were included. The meta-analysis suggested bariatric surgery was associated with a reduced overall incidence of cancer (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.46-0.84, p < 0.002), obesity-related cancer (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.39-0.90, p = 0.01) and cancer-associated mortality (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.42-0.62, p < 0.00001). In specific cancers, bariatric surgery was associated with reduction in the future incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.22-0.55, p < 0.00001), colorectal cancer (RR 0.63, CI 0.50-0.81, p = 0.0002), pancreatic cancer (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.29-0.93, p = 0.03) and gallbladder cancer (RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.18-0.96, p = 0.04), as well as female specific cancers, including breast cancer (RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.44-0.71, p < 0.00001), endometrial cancer (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.26-0.55, p < 0.00001) and ovarian cancer (RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.31-0.64, p < 0.0001). There was no significant reduction in the incidence of oesophageal, gastric, thyroid, kidney, prostate cancer or multiple myeloma after bariatric surgery as compared to patients with morbid obesity who did not have bariatric surgery. Obesity-associated carcinogenesis is closely related to metabolic syndrome; visceral adipose dysfunction; aromatase activity and detrimental cytokine, adipokine and exosomal miRNA release. Bariatric surgery results in long-term weight loss in morbidly obese patients and improves metabolic syndrome. Bariatric surgery may decrease future overall cancer incidence and mortality, including the incidence of seven obesity-related cancers.