Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Diabetes Risks Go Beyond Heart Attacks, Strokes

Study: 40% of Deaths in People With Diabetes Are Due to Non-Cardiovascular Causes
Font Size
A
A
A

Diabetes and Cancer continued...

“We were in some way expecting this finding, but of course, this is quite a major advance in the science process to quantify many of these questions,” says study researcher Emanuele Di Angelantonio, MD, a university lecturer in the department of public health and primary care at Cambridge University in the U.K.

Other experts agree.

“This result highlights the importance of continued work on why diabetes increases cancer risk,” says Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, a professor in the departments of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

“I think it is good that this area is receiving more attention because besides smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, related problems such as diabetes are likely to be close to importance as smoking for cancer risk,” says Giovannucci, who was the lead author of a consensus statement jointly published by the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association in 2010.

Though it’s not clear exactly how diabetes may increase cancer risk, the consensus statement notes: “The relative risks imparted by diabetes are greatest (about twofold or higher) for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and endometrium, and lesser (about 1.2-1.5 fold) for cancers of the colon and rectum, breast, and bladder. Other cancers (e.g., lung) do not appear to be associated with an increased risk in diabetes, and the evidence for others (e.g., kidney, non-Hodgkin lymphoma) is inconclusive. Few studies have explored links with type 1 diabetes.”

One common link may be insulin.

Often before people become diabetic, their bodies crank out ever higher levels of insulin because their cells stop responding to it, a condition called insulin resistance.

Insulin also contributes to inflammation, another process that can drive cancer.

Advice for People With Diabetes

“The main message for patients and doctors is probably we should think about non-vascular death,” says Di Angelantonio. “We should consider appropriate screening for cancer in patients with diabetes.”

1 | 2

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article