ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diabetes Mellitus and Cancer: A Link

Updated on September 7, 2019

Diabetes mellitus has assumed epidemic proportions worldwide. According to WHO (World Health Organization), the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014. It is a disturbing fact that diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries.

Diabetes has been found to be a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. It has been established by epidemiologic evidence that cancer incidence is associated with diabetes as well as certain diabetes risk factors and diabetes treatments.

It has been found that diabetes doubles the risk of liver, pancreas and endometrial cancer. It increases the risk of colo-rectal, breast, and bladder cancer by 20% to 50%. But it cuts men's risk of prostate cancer. However, women with diabetes are 6 percent likelier than men with the same diagnosis to develop a type of cancer.

The researchers at American Chemical Society have found that DNA sustains more damage and gets fixed less often when blood sugar levels are high compared to when blood sugar is at a normal, healthy level, thereby increasing one's cancer risk.

Factors that increase the risk of cancer in diabetics –

Some possible reasons for an increased risk of cancer are mentioned as follows:

1) People with diabetes tend to have some known risk factors for cancer, which include older age, gender, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, too-high insulin levels, too-high blood sugar levels and chronic inflammation.

2) There is evidence, but not definitive proof, that diabetes treatments affect cancer risk. Metformin, the most commonly used diabetes drug, seems to lower cancer risk.

3) But there is also evidence from some studies though contradicted by others that insulin, particularly long-acting insulin glargine, may increase cancer risk.

How to lower the risk cancer in diabetics –

The following strategies, if done properly, will work effectively:

Lose weight – If you are overweight, losing weight may help you lower the risk of diabetes and cancer. And you don't have to lose a lot to improve your health; even losing 10-15 pounds can make a big difference.

Eat healthy – You must choose a diet with a plenty of:

Fresh vegetables – The best choices are fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and vegetable juices without added sodium, fat, or sugar. Try to eat at least 3-5 daily servings of vegetables, including asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, greens, peppers, snap peas and tomatoes.

Whole grains – A whole grain is the entire grain. Shop for cereals and grains that have the first ingredient with a whole grain. Try to include dried beans, legumes, peas, and lentils into several meals per week. They are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Fruits – Eat fruits that are fresh, frozen, or canned without added sugars.

Choose healthier options for dairy and meat:

1) Low-fat or non-fat dairy products – Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, non-fat yogurt and unflavored soy milk.

2) Lean meats – The best choices are cuts of meats and meat alternatives that are lower in saturated fat and calories. Include fish and seafood, poultry without the skin, eggs, and meats trimmed of fat.

3) Above all, be sure to watch portion sizes.

Stay active – Set a schedule of exercise five days a week. Thirty minutes of brisk walking or a similar activity will work. You can even break it up into 3 10-minute blocks if it is easier to fit in your day. Exercising regularly can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.

Even a little extra activity each day can make a difference if they become a regular habit, such as walking to the shops rather using the car or getting off the bus a stop early.

Quit smoking – If you smoke, quit it. Choose a strategy that suits you, such as going cold turkey, tapering off, or working with your healthcare professional.

Cancer screenings - Work with your healthcare provider to see what types of cancer screenings you should have according to your age and gender.

The last word –

It has been found that up to 50% of cancer cases and about 50% of cancer deaths are preventable with the knowledge that we have today. Prevention and early detection are important and effective strategies to lower the incidence of cancer. Therefore, the prevention of diabetes will go a long way in this direction.

References –

  • Diabetes Care. 2010 Jul;33(7):1674-85. doi: 10.2337/dc10-0666. Diabetes and cancer: a consensus report. Giovannucci E1, Harlan DM, Archer MC, Bergenstal RM, Gapstur SM, Habel LA, Pollak M, Regensteiner JG, Yee D.
  • American Chemical Society. "How diabetes can increase cancer risk: DNA damaged by high blood sugar." Science Daily. Science Daily, 25 August 2019.<www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190825075932.htm>.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Dr Pran Rangan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      22 months ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Thanks Dana for liking my hub.

      Though diabetes may be genetic, it's basically a lifestyle disease. Even if one has bad genetics, it can still be prevented.

      Mostly you must take healthy food but sometimes you can afford to appease your taste buds but remember not to do it frequently.

      It's good that you are physically quite active but still you should take up a regular schedule of exercise that you will love.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      22 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Diabetes run in my family. Some members are or were on insulin. Diabetes has always been something I've been afraid of because I love fried foods. I try to eat healthy but healthy food doesn't taste good.

      The plus side is my job keeps me very active. I'm always waking, in fact I've always loved walking and I'm not overweight, Any advice?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)