Is there a link between Diabetes and Cancer?
Diabetes is a condition where your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or does not use it efficiently. It’s usually characterized by increased blood sugar, increased thirst and increased urination. Type 2 Diabetes has been considered as a risk factor of several types of malignant neoplasms. In cancer development both genetic and environmental factors play an important role. Among possible biological mechanisms directly linking diabetes and cancer, hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia and inflammation are the ones that can promote tumor development.
According to NFCR (NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH) in 2019, a dedicated team of researchers discovered that hyperglycemia, or high levels of glucose in the blood, may induce DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair. Hyperglycemia is a symptom that characterizes diabetes, meaning that the DNA in people with diabetes sustains more damage and gets fixed less often when blood sugar levels are high compared to when blood sugar is at a normal, healthy level. It is this impact on the DNA that increases a diabetic’s cancer risk.
Also it’s important to note that most diabetic individuals are overweight or obese or have high body fat percentage, which is also considered as a risk factor for developing cancer.
You might have the risk of contracting the following cancers if you have diabetes and are unable to maintain your blood sugar level or if you have high levels of insulin resistance.
- Pancreatic cancer
- Liver cancer
- Endometrial cancer
A smaller increased risk, of 20% to 50% is seen for the following forms of cancer.
- Colorectal cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Blood cancers (Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma)
According to Hindawi.com, studies relating to survival, evaluate cancer outcomes by comparing cancer patients with Diabetes and cancer patients without DM, whereas studies referring to mortality examine cancer related deaths among diabetic or non-diabetic groups. In addition to increased incidence of cancer, Diabetes diagnosis has also deleterious effects on cancer prognosis.
Therefore, we recommend that you strictly maintain your blood sugar level, try to maintain a healthy body weight, follow a healthy diet, be physically active, have good sleep and avoid stress, avoid alcohol, smoking and processed or refined food items.
Tags: Diabetes, pancreas, insulin, Type 2 Diabetes, malignant neoplasms, hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, inflammation, DNA repair, insulin resistance, pancreatic cancer, Liver cancer, endometrial cancer, Colorectal cancer, Bladder cancer, Breast cancer, Blood cancers (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), cancer prognosis, maintain your blood sugar level, maintain a healthy body weight, follow a healthy diet, be physically active, have good sleep and avoid stress, avoid alcohol, smoking and processed or refined food items