Di­a­betes lifts risk of cancer

Pilbara News - - News - Cathy O'Leary

A WA di­a­betes re­search group is warn­ing of the dis­ease’s emerg­ing link to cancer, with di­a­bet­ics fac­ing as much as a 70 per cent higher risk of some can­cers.

Di­a­betes Re­search WA said stud­ies sug­gested peo­ple with di­a­betes had more risk of breast, bowel, pan­cre­atic, liver and blad­der can­cers.

In­creased rates of di­a­betes could ac­cel­er­ate the growth in cancer cases.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Sherl Westlund said re­search was needed to help pre­vent a surge in cancer linked to ris­ing rates of di­a­betes, in­clud­ing type 2 and ges­ta­tional forms of the dis­ease.

She said cancer rates were in­creas­ing be­cause of a range of fac­tors, but di­a­betes was not com­monly as­so­ci­ated with cancer.

“Re­search shows that peo­ple with di­a­betes have a higher risk of be­ing di­ag­nosed with cer­tain can­cers in­clud­ing breast, bowel, pan­cre­atic, liver and blad­der, and in some cases the risk is up to 70 per cent higher,” Ms Westlund said.

“It fol­lows then that if we can fund re­search that can help bring down rates of di­a­betes and fur­ther sup­port life­style in­ter­ven­tion pro­grams that may pre­vent some cases of type 2 and ges­ta­tional di­a­betes, we should see a re­duc­tion in cancer cases.”

She said the group was con­cerned many peo­ple were un­aware of the link, and it was a mys­tery why peo­ple with di­a­betes were more likely to de­velop some can­cers.

“It’s sus­pected high blood sugar or per­haps high in­sulin lev­els as­so­ci­ated with di­a­betes . . . but that’s not been con­firmed,” Ms Westlund said.

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