Severe diabetes means higher cancer risk

May 28, 2010

in Health News

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A person could have a higher risk of developing a cancer if ever hospitalized for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study in the May 17, 2010 issue of Oncologist.

The study showed that people who were hospitalized for type 2 diabetes were at much higher risk for pancreatic and liver cancers.

The risk was still higher even if the follow-up started five years after the last hospitalization due to type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes and cancer are two common diseases that may share risk factors, the authors of the study said in their report.

In the study, Hemminki K. and colleagues from German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany examined the association between cancer risk in 125,126 patients who were hospitalized for type 2 diabetes in Sweden from 1964 to 2007, in comparison to the general Swedish population.

They found the risks of pancreatic and liver cancer were elevated by a factor of 6 and 4 times, respectively, in those who were hospitalized for diabetes.

When patients were followed five years after hospitalization, the risk of primary liver cancer was found highest in the hospitalized patients, at a rate that was  4.66 times higher than that for the general population.

Also elevated were the risk of upper aerodigestive tract, esophageal, colon, rectal, pancreatic, lung, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, and kidney cancers.

Interestingly, prostate cancer and melanoma risks were found lower in those diabetes patients who were ever hospitalized.  Familial type 2 diabetes patients were not at increased cancer risk either.

The researchers speculated that metabolic disturbances of diabetes may be the reason for the increased risk of various cancers.

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