Review article|Articles in Press

Obesity-associated cancer risk reduction after metabolic surgery: insights from the SPLENDID study and the path forward

Published:February 06, 2023DOI:


      • Metabolic surgery is associated with lower risk of developing obesity-associated cancer.
      • Metabolic surgery is associated with lower risk of cancer-related mortality.
      • There is a dose-dependent response between weight loss and cancer risk: the greater the weight loss, the lower the risk of cancer.
      • Available data suggest substantial weight loss (over 20-25%) is necessary to significantly reduce cancer risk in people with obesity.


      Obesity incidence continues to rise globally along with obesity-associated conditions, which heavily burden individuals’ quality of life and healthcare systems. Evidence regarding the power of metabolic and bariatric surgery to treat obesity has, fortunately, brought to light how substantial and sustained weight loss can mitigate adverse clinical outcomes of obesity and metabolic disease. Obesity-associated cancer has been an important focus of studies in recent decades to further elucidate what impact metabolic surgery could have on incidence of cancer and cancer-related mortality. The SPLENDID (Surgical Procedures and Long-term Effectiveness in Neoplastic Disease Incidence and Death) study is one of the recent large cohort studies that highlights the power of substantial weight loss and the long-term benefits to patients with obesity in preventing cancer. This review of SPLENDID aims to highlight both consistency of results with prior studies and new findings unexplored previously.


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