Diabetes Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

The Physicians Committee

Diabetes Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

July 6, 2010

People with diabetes have up to twice the risk of developing liver, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers, compared to the risk for people who do not have diabetes, according to a study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Cancers of the colon, rectum, bladder, and breast are also more common among people with diabetes. The reason for the increased risk is unknown but may be due to similar risk factors for both diseases, such as obesity and older age. However, the link may also be from diabetic complications like high blood sugar, high blood insulin, inflammation, or altered hormone regulation, all having the potential to increase cancer risk. This report from the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society suggests that a high intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low intake of processed and red meats are associated with lower cancer risk.

Giovannucci E, Harlan DM, Archer MC, et al. Diabetes and Cancer: A Consensus Report. CA Cancer J Clin. Published ahead of print June 16, 2010. doi: 10.3322/caac.20078.

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