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San Antonio Cosmetic SurgeryTummy Liposuction Can Prevent Skin Cancer in Lab Mice


Liposuction to prevent skin cancer? It’s been proven to work in laboratory mice, but the head author of a study recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that it’s far from clear whether the same effect may be found in humans. Dr. Allan Conney and his co-authors are calling for an epidemiology study to investigate whether or skin cancer rates are lower among liposuction patients.

Previous studies have shown that caffeine and exercise, both of which often result in fat reduction, can reduce the risk of skin cancer in mice. Dr. Conney wondered whether the reduction of fatty tissue caused by caffeine and exercise had some relationship with the decreased risk, or if it was just a coincidence.

The new study involved groups of mice that were exposed to a high-energy ultraviolet light every few days over the course of 33 weeks. One group of mice was fed a high-fat diet, while another group was fed a low-fat diet. While the second group experienced no effect on their skin cancer rates after undergoing liposuction, the first group experienced a reduction of tumor numbers and volume by 75 percent.

Health benefits in the former group that seemed to help prevent dangerous skin cancers included:

  • a reduction in markers of cell proliferation
  • enhanced cell death within tumors that did form
  • fewer proteins that have been linked to skin cancer

Of course, tests on laboratory mice don’t necessarily mean that the same effects will be experienced in humans. It isn’t clear whether liposuction may affect skin cancer risk in humans, nor is it certain whether conventional weight loss might have a similar fact. “We don’t know what effect fat removal would have in humans.” He plans to continue his investigations into the role that liposuction may play in preventing different types of obesity-associated lethal cancers.

Photo credit: Rama, Wikimedia Commons

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