People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are diagnosed with more of some types of cancer — and are more likely to die from cancer — than people without diabetes, a new Australian study shows.
The researchers say that close follow-up, given right after a diabetes diagnosis, might partly explain the increased cancer risk seen. But these factors “do not explain increased risks 2 years following diabetes diagnosis, particularly for cancers of the pancreas, liver, kidney, and endometrium.”
Based on the findings, the researchers say, people with diabetes should get screened for cancer, which could help doctors treat cases early and lessen premature deaths due to cancer.
The research is published online in the journal Diabetes Care.
The study included 953,382 registrants from the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) in Australia: 80,676 with type 1 diabetes and 872,706 with type 2 diabetes, diagnosed between the years 1997 and 2008.
The NDSS is one of the world’s largest diabetes registries, and the data were linked to Australia’s National Death Index. This information was then linked to data from the Australian Cancer Database. Cancer rates in Australia’s general population served as a comparison.
Lead researcher Jessica Harding, of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, says that with the aging population and increasing obesity, the number of new cases of cancer and diabetes are on the rise. Given that these increases are happening over the same time periods, she and her colleagues figured there must be a link between the two.
The highest excess risks the researchers saw were for cancers of the pancreas, liver, endometrium, kidney, thyroid, and gallbladder, and for a cancer that affects blood cells and bone marrow called chronic myeloid leukemia.
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SOURCE: Medscape Medical News