There are many studies showing that people who are overweight (obese) have higher incidences of cancer than those who are healthy weights. Part of the problem comes from the fat cells themselves; besides storing fat, they are also your body’s warehouse for hormones, toxic chemicals, and a few other things. Other studies from Harvard have shown that diets rich in high glycemic index carbohydrates have a higher incidence of the disease.

Research has shown that 14 percent of cancer deaths in men and 20 percent of cancer deaths in women may be due to obesity. One study speculated that 90,000 cancer deaths could be prevented if America simply slimmed down. Obese males are four times as likely to die from cancer of the liver, and obese women have six times the death risk from cancer of the uterus. Obese people are also at risk for cervical, ovarian, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stomach, liver, prostate, and multiple myeloma, and several other types. Almost every type of cancer has been studied and a startling fact emerged. There are more obese patients with the disease than not.

Weight loss surgery can improve liver health

There is an entity called fatty liver, also known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis(NASH), or its newer name, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which is associated with being overweight. This occurs when there is a build up of fat in the organ. While fat in the liver is not a problem, it can cause an inflammatory response and ultimately can lead to cirrhosis and even death from liver failure. The build up of fat in the organ of patients who are overweight is not related to fat in the diet, but rather to a diet rich in carbohydrates (again, common cause of obesity in the United States). It is also highly associated with type II diabetes and weight loss surgery patients with elevated blood triglycerides (both related to being overweight).

Fatty liver can occur in patients who have had the weight loss surgery called the jejuno-ileal bypass. This weight loss surgery is no longer performed, partially because there were a number of deaths from liver disease. The modern surgeries, which are performed for weight loss— including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, duodenal switch, gastric sleeve, and lap-band surgery, have not been associated with this complication.

Weight loss surgery can reverse the fatty infiltration of the liver. If fatty liver goes unchecked, it can lead to cirrhosis. As a side note, one reason The American Society of Bariatric Surgeons recommends that individuals who have had the jejuno-ileal bypass have it reversed is because of the incidence of fatty-liver.