Type II diabetes has an increased risk of cancer



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Type II diabetes patients have an increased risk of cancer.

(May 22, 2010) According to an international study, type II diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing various types of cancer. Pancreatic cancer and liver cancer are particularly at increased risk. Scientists have discovered that 24 of the 26 cancer types examined are at increased risk. Statistically, the risk of a diabetic (type 2) is about 4.25 times higher than that of people who do not suffer from "diabetes".

Doctors from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), together with scientists from Sweden and the USA, evaluated data from 125,126 Swedish citizens. According to the Cancer Research Center, the international evaluation is currently the largest study examining a connection between type 2 diabetes and cancer. Study director Kari Hemminki emphasized that this study made it possible for the first time to establish links between diabetes and rare types of cancer.

In the past, the patients examined had to go to a clinic due to diabetes-related complications. Using the data, the scientists compared the incidence of cancer with the data on the Swedish population. It was shown that the risk of developing liver cell cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is around four times greater than that of the general Swedish population. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer (pancreatic cancer) is even six times higher than in generally healthy patients. Further evaluations showed that kidney cancer, cancer of the thyroid gland, esophagus, nervous system and small intestine are about twice the risk of diabetes patients.

According to the Cancer Research Center, the international evaluation is currently the largest study examining a connection between type 2 diabetes and cancer. Study director Kari Hemminki emphasized that this study made it possible for the first time to establish links between diabetes and rare types of cancer.

However, diabetes does not increase the risk of disease in all types of cancer. According to comparative data, type II diabetes patients were significantly less likely to develop prostate cancer (prostate carcinoma) than non-diabetics. However, the researchers can only speculate about the exact background of the connections. "Lower levels of male sex hormones in diabetics may be responsible." so Hemminki.

There are currently around 9 million people suffering from diabetes in Germany; the number of unreported cases is very likely far higher, as many people do not know that they have diabetes. Around 90 percent of diabetics suffer from type 2, which develops in the course of life. Here, sugar in the blood is only poorly absorbed by the cells. (sb)

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