DIABETES, OBESITY BEHIND 800,000 CANCER CASES
NEARLY six percent of new cancers diagnosed worldwide in 2012 – some 800,000 cases – were caused by diabetes and excess weight, according to a recent study.
Among the 12 types of cancer examined, the percentage of cases chalked up to these factors was as high as a third, researchers reported in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, a leading medical journal.
Cancers stemming from diabetes and obesity combined was almost twice as common among women as men, the study also found.
And of the two cancer-causing agents, being overweight or obese – above 25 on the body-mass index, or BMI – was responsible for twice as many cancers as diabetes.
The conditions, in reality, are often found together, as obesity is itself a leading risk factor for diabetes.
“While obesity has been associated with cancer for some time, the link between diabetes and cancer has only been established quite recently,” said lead author Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, a clinical research fellow at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine.
“Our study shows that diabetes – either on its own or combined with being overweight – is responsible for hundreds of thousands of cancer cases each year across the world,” he also said.
A surge in both conditions over the last four decades has made the tally significantly worse, the study showed.
The global increase in diabetes between 1980 and 2002 accounted for a quarter of the 800,000 cases, while the obesity epidemic over the same period resulted in an additional 30 percent of cases.