Washington D.C.: Weight loss surgery for obese women could prevent womb malignancy, suggests a study. The comprehensive research, led by University of Salford and Manchester Royal scientists, is published in the International journal of Cancer. The study found that the precancerous tissue – in the womb of women who experienced gastric sleeve or bypass surgery for obesity – reverted on track tissue when they lost weight.
Doctors have long known that womb cancer tumor is triggered by weight problems, however, as yet, the effect of reducing your weight on precancerous changes in the womb has been poorly studied. Seventy-two women with an average BMI of over 50 – considered to be very obese – got biopsies taken from their wombs during gastric sleeve or bypass surgery. From the 72, four were found to have a womb cancer tumor, that was treated by hysterectomy. An additional six patients experienced atypical endometrial hyperplasia, a precancerous condition that triggers the overgrowth of cells in the womb.
Of the six women with endometrial hyperplasia, three acquired no indicators of the problem when re-tested at eight weeks, after losing around three rocks in weight. The rest of the three were treated by a Mirena coil, which releases the hormone progesterone into the reverses and womb precancerous changes. Two were been shown to be free of the problem after half a year. Six monthly bank checks over four years revealed the precancerous cells did not return for these five women; the last acquired a hysterectomy.
The remaining 62 women experienced normal womb tissue during weight reduction surgery, but it was high risk for an abnormality, with growing cells fast, cancer-causing pathways started up and cancer-stopping pathways powered down. By a year after surgery, when the women acquired lost around seven rocks in weight, the high-risk changes acquired reversed.
Obese post-menopausal women produce oestrogen from their fat stores. But as they no more ovulate, having less progesterone allows the cells in the womb to grow – which escalates the risk of tumor. Inflammatory responses and insulin production are also transformed in obese women and can cause cells in the womb to develop. That is why it’s not for everyone: only about a 3rd of women choose the medical option.
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