There is no clear, definite explanation as to why diabetes and cancer are linked. It has proven though that people with diabetes are more susceptible to have cancer, but not become diabetic when they are first diagnosed with cancer. I know it is quite confusing and not really easy to understand. The main purpose of this article is to give some clarity that may confuse some people regarding the relation of both health conditions.
Your questions and concerns may include the following: “What are the cancer types that are known to link to diabetes?”, “How to treat diabetes and cancer?”, “Is there any medical complications that can cause you to have diabetes when trying to treat cancer or vice versa? Let’s make these questions as your guide as you continue reading more information below.
As diseases, cancer and diabetes seem a world away from each other. Yet, numerous studies suggest the conditions are linked. People with diabetes are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than those without diabetes, but why remains unclear.
Type 2 Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes, and they are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, which you probably know already. The kind of diabetes that is primarily associated with cancer is type 2. You will learn more of the specific cancers that have a link with this type of diabetes.
To easily understand how cancer and diabetes are correlated, the risk factors, which are essential, must be learned. It is also helpful to know how to avoid them when you identify the different factors that can cause diabetes, cancer, or both.
Most victims of type 2 diabetes are men. There is no absolute scientific explanation as to why men are more vulnerable to this condition than women. The only more realistic proof to answer the question why is probably because men are more exposed to bad habits or vices, such as drinking excessive alcohol and smoking cigarettes.
2. Weight and Obesity
Women must still be careful with their health, because overweight in people is one common factor of diabetes. Even young children and teens who are obese have high risk of type 2 diabetes, and parents need to be more concerned because of the possibility of having cancer.
Another risk factor is the age. If you are not obese, but already adult, there is a tendency to be diagnosed with diabetes. In most cases, late 30s up to 50s are susceptible with this condition.
4. Diet and Exercise
The most common factor, aside from hereditary reason, is diet. Not all foods are that healthy, but rather give more risk to have diabetes. Mostly, the foods that can make you diabetic are meat, especially processed and red meats, and sweet foods. Your diet must be low in glycemic index and calories.
Even the lack of exercise can make you more prone to get diabetes. There must be a regular workout or physical activity like sports that you do to lessen the risk of diabetes, and of course, cancer.
Causes and Effects
People who are suffering from type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of getting cancers. The most common types of cancers that likely to occur in a diabetic individual are liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrium cancer. Other cancers, but with fewer cases, that are linked with diabetes are breast cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and bladder cancer.
There is one type of cancer that is never linked to diabetes. That is the prostate cancer, which is a condition that only happens in men. The scientific explanation is because the testosterone level is lowered when a male person has diabetes, which basically prevent him from having prostate cancer.
The major suspect that makes cancer and diabetes linked is the insulin levels. If the insulin level of a person has reached the normal range, cancer is likely to occur. Apart from insulin levels, inflation and high blood glucose can also play a role to get cancer.
As mentioned previously, cancer in the pancreas and liver are two of the most common conditions that can be caused by type 2 diabetes. That is because the pancreas produces insulin and directly sends to the liver. Once the body’s insulin has maxed out, both the pancreas and liver are greatly affected.
High blood sugar is one factor of having diabetes, and a factor of cancer. Many cancerous cells begin and grow on glucose. So, the increase of the levels will fuel the spread and growth of those abnormal cells.
Just to be clear, cancer does not make a person diabetic. However, if you have diabetes, especially type 2, there is a high chance to be diagnosed with certain cancers, like the ones stated, which include liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, and endometrium cancer. The best prevention is to have a healthy diet with proper and regular exercise.