Cancer increases risk of developing diabetes: Study

Jun 05, 2022 16:00 IST

Washington [US]Jun 5 (ANI): A new study has found that cancer patients are at greater risk of developing diabetes.
The research is published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Denmark, which has a population of nearly 6 million. More than 45,000 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2019 alone. Fortunately, the most recent statistics report that cancer survival in Denmark has increased significantly. Nevertheless, lingering effects and complications reduce the quality of life for many survivors.
Higher risk of diabetes associated with certain cancers
As a result of a collaboration between researchers from Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet and the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport at the University of Copenhagen, a new study found that being diagnosed with cancer was associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. The study is based on the use of unique epidemiological data from the CopLab database hosted at the General Practice Center of the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen.
Certain cancers were more likely than others to increase this risk. Associate Professor Lykke Sylow from the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport at the University of Copenhagen, who is behind the research together with Professor Christoffer Johansen from the National Center for Cancer Survivorship and General Late Effects (CASTLE) in Rigshospitalet and Professor Christen Lykkegaard Andersen. the Center for General Practice’s CopLab database, states: “Our study shows that there is an increased risk of developing diabetes if a person is affected by lung, pancreatic, breast, brain, urinary or uterine cancer.”
The researchers examined a comprehensive dataset consisting of 112 million blood samples from 1.3 million Danes, more than 50,000 of whom developed cancer. While the study doesn’t say anything definitive about why certain types of cancer are associated with a greater risk of developing diabetes, the researchers have theories around which new studies can be built.

“Different cancer therapies can contribute to an increased risk. Cancer itself can affect the rest of the body. We know that cancer cells can secrete substances that can affect organs and possibly contribute to an increased incidence of diabetes. This has been suggested in animal studies,” says Lykke sylow.
Survival increases without diabetes
The study also shows that people diagnosed with cancer and then diabetes generally do not live as long as patients who do not develop diabetes while developing cancer.
“Across all cancer sites, we saw that cancer patients without diabetes survived longer compared to cancer patients with diabetes,” says Professor Christoffer Johansen of Rigshospitalet.
Overall, the study finds a 21 percent excess mortality in patients who develop diabetes after being diagnosed with cancer. It is worth noting that the study included all cancers and did not examine the impact of diabetes on survival in relation to individual cancers.
Preventive initiatives and screening
Today, screening cancer patients for diabetes has yet to be incorporated into the healthcare system. If it could be shown that screening cancer patients for diabetes leads to a higher quality of life and survival, this would be a good idea in the future:
“Our results suggest that it may be relevant to consider diabetes screening with regard to those cancers where we have found an increased risk of the disease. That is, for patients with lung cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, uterine cancer and urinary tract cancer. We have excellent potential to treating diabetes and early intervention could have an impact on certain cancer patients,” says Professor Christoffer Johansen.
Associate professor Lykke Sylow agrees: “It could be interesting to investigate whether screening helps cancer patients – both in terms of their chances of survival and their quality of life. As a preventive initiative, it could also be possible to target different types of exercise for cancer patients. people with cancer, which we know work effectively to prevent and treat diabetes. But my suggestions should be looked at in a long-term perspective and tested,” she concluded. (ANI)

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