Diabetes and Cancer: Is There a Link?

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cancer and diabetes

Diabetes and cancer are both prevalent illnesses with major effects on health globally, and it is not unusual for two of these illnesses to be diagnosed in the same person.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common endocrine condition that affects people all over the world and is defined by hyperglycemia brought on by deficiencies in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. Cancer is a condition in which aberrant cells continue to divide uncontrollably, causing the tissue to be destroyed.

There has been speculation about a connection between the two diseases for about 80 years, but it has only been in the last ten years that a sizable body of epidemiological data has accumulated that suggests a causal relationship between diabetes and cancer.

diabetes test

Diabetes and cancer: Is there a connection?

According to estimates, 20% of people with cancer also have diabetes. Numerous epidemiological studies have revealed that diabetic patients are more likely to develop various cancers, including those of the liver, pancreas, gastric (stomach), colorectum, kidney, and breast.

It is also predicted that the hyperglycemic environment associated with diabetes will increase the risk of cancer in people who are prediabetic and diabetic.

Calculate your Diabetes Risk Now

If you have certain cancers, your risk of acquiring diabetes could be increased. Controlling blood glucose levels may be challenging while using steroids on an intermittent basis throughout cancer therapy.

Poorer cancer treatment outcomes, a delay in wound healing, and an increased risk of infection are all possible effects of elevated sugar levels. If you have pancreatic cancer, for instance, your risk of acquiring diabetes increases. According to certain studies, cancer patients’ mortality rates seem to rise after receiving a diabetes diagnosis.

Common risk factors for diabetes and cancer

Age: Patients 60 years of age or older are diagnosed with more than 60% of malignancies, and 17% of people in this age range have diabetes.

Weight: Being overweight and obese are known to be associated with diabetes. The most common cancers linked to obesity and overweight are breast cancer in postmenopausal women, colon, pancreatic, endometrial, liver, and gallbladder. Prostate cancer mortality may also be increased.

Smoking: Smoking is a well-known risk factor for the development and death of lung cancer. Smoking has been linked to diabetes through studies, and it is well-recognised that smoking has a negative impact on diabetic complications.

Alcohol: Numerous malignancies, including those of the mouth, throat, colon, liver, and female breast, are made more likely by alcohol use. Increased alcohol use is viewed as a risk for diabetes.

How to lower cancer risk if you have diabetes?

cancer and diabetes

Keep your weight within a healthy range for your height.

Healthy eating: Eat a variety of foods, including fresh produce, whole grains, fruits, lean meats, skinless chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products, and monitor the size of your meals.

Being active and exercising

Quit smoking

Limiting the intake of alcohol.


Patients with diabetes should undergo cancer screening, and those who already have cancer should take diabetes precautions.

Read More: Diabetes and Cancer – Debunking the Myths

It can be difficult to manage diabetes in cancer patients, whether it is already present or has just been diagnosed. Nevertheless, managing hyperglycemia in cancer patients seems to be crucial, as poorer glycaemic management seems to raise morbidity and mortality in cancer patients.

Keep a check on your blood sugar levels. Use BeatO Glucometer to monitor blood sugar easily at home. Save yourself from unwanted complications of diabetes!

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