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Health Spotlight: Bariatric surgery to prevent cancer

Health Spotlight: Bariatric surgery to prevent cancer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Obesity is a chronic disease that leads to poor health.

A body mass index of 30 or higher is classified as obese, and more than 100 million people in the United States fit this description.

42% of Americans are classified as obese, putting them at risk for developing deadly diseases like cancer.

“There are a number of obesity-related cancers, which are 13 different kinds,” said Rickesha Wilson, a bariatric surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. “These are cancers of the stomach, of the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the colon and rectum, ovaries, uterus, even breast cancer.”

Recent research from the Cleveland Clinic shows that instead of lifestyle modifications, longer-lasting permanent therapies could be the gateway to saving lives.

“it seems like bariatric surgery can reduce that risk significantly,” said Wilson.

Bariatric surgery has been shown to be the most effective way for obese people to lose weight. In a study of 5,000 patients who underwent bariatric surgery, patients showed a 32% lower risk of developing cancer and a 48% lower risk of dying from it.

“We found that for weight loss strategies, bariatric surgery is the most effective in battling obesity and saving lives,” said Wilson.

Most insurance companies will partially cover the amount for a bariatric surgery if the patient is in stage three of chronic obesity.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.