Breast Cancer Awareness Month – How Bariatric Surgery Can Help Prevent Hormonal Cancers

October is here, which means it’s time to bring out he pink ribbons in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM)! This annual campaign was established in 1985 to raise awareness about breast cancer and encourage donations for research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and – hopefully – a cure. At NYBG, we’re doing our part by spreading the word about how bariatric surgery affects hormonal cancers, like breast cancer so be sure to read on!

The Beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

NBCAM was created in 1985 as a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca, a multi-national pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company. Their original goal was promoting mammograms as an effective way to detect breast cancer, but have since expanded their scope to help even more people by raising funds for research and treatment, as well as offering additional support like symptom guides and an inspirational, supportive community.

Since its inception, NBCAM has helped decrease and stabilize the incidence rates for breast cancer. By providing opportunities for screenings and helping more people know how to check for and get treated for breast cancer, mortality rates have steadily decreased and even dropped by 39% since 1989!

Although this campaign has shown great success, there is still work to be done. After all, breast cancer remains the 2nd most common cancer globally (behind lung cancer); approximately 1 in every 8 U. S. women (12.4%) will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, as will 1 in 1000 men.

So, here’s the big question for bariatric experts: how does this relate to obesity and weight-loss surgery?

Obesity and Cancer

Obesity is currently the 2nd leading cause for developing disease behind smoking, and it is currently on the rise all over the world. According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity has been linked to 13 different types of cancers, most notably affecting hormonal cancers. In fact, according to the CDC, 40% of cancers diagnosed in the United States are related to overweight and obesity (read more about these findings in our other blog)! It is therefore critical that scientists and the population at large learn more about obesity and its effects on the body.

We are still not completely sure as to why obesity affects cancer so strongly, but there are several possibilities:

  • Obesity sparks a constant low-level inflammation which may damage DNA
  • Fat tissue increases estrogen levels which have been linked to breast and ovarian cancers
  • Obesity raises the insulin level of blood which may promote cancerous growths.
  • Fat cells produce hormones that can either inhibit or boost cell growth, according to the individual

Thankfully, we have found a way to help: weight-loss surgery!

Bariatric Surgery and Hormonal Cancers

Bariatric surgery has many benefits for patients, including (but not limited to) long-term weight loss and an increased quality of life. While losing weight has been observed by numerous studies to decrease a patient’s risk of developing cancer, it’s not the only way bariatric surgery can help.

Weight-loss surgeries have been shown to help comorbidities – weight-related conditions compounded with obesity – improve or even resolve. The list includes type 2 diabetes, hypertension, COPD, and sleep apnea, among others. In addition to alleviating symptoms and discomfort associated with these, bariatric surgery has been shown to affect the body’s hormone levels – one such case being increased leptin production, which helps the body regulate hunger and fullness.

Since bariatric surgeries affect hormones in the body, it makes sense that they likewise affect hormonal cancers. The National Cancer Institute’s continued research showed that patients who lose weight with surgery showed an even greater reduction in cancer risk when compared to those who lost weight without surgery!

In the end, this is one more reason of many to look into weight-loss procedures. They are safe, effective, and have a list of benefits that grows with each new research study. When you’re ready to take the first step on a successful health journey, take it with a team of professionals who truly care; get started with NYBG!


When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:

  • 9 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
  • 15,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
  • The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
  • 24/7 access to online seminars
  • 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
  • Since 2000, we boast 18 years of success!

Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month – How Bariatric Surgery Can Help Prevent Hormonal Cancers


Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

Listen to Thomas’ testimonial


Lost 76lbs