Type 2 diabetics at greater risk of developing pancreatic, liver cancers

diabetes illus250x03 Type 2 diabetics at greater risk of developing pancreatic, liver cancersPeople with type 2 diabetes who were hospitalized at some point to treat their disease are at an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, a new study has found.

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden; Germany Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany; and Stanford University in California analyzed data from a national Swedish database and found type 2 diabetics were more likely to have cancer. The most common cancers among these patients affected the colon, liver, pancreas, endometrium, and kidney. The risk for pancreatic cancer and liver cancer in these patients was particularly high, the researchers noted.

Pancreatic cancer and liver cancer are among the most deadly forms of the disease because they are often diagnosed after the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, making it more difficult to treat. Also, most people do not exhibit symptoms of liver or pancreatic cancer when the disease is in its earliest stages.

Past research has found that insulin plays a role in the growth of cancer, which is one reason why diabetics, who have lost insulin sensitivity, are at greater risk of developing cancer. But treatments to help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels have also been linked to cancer.

For example, a class of newer diabetes drugs known as incretin mimetics, which includes the brand names Byetta, Januvia and Victoza, have been associated with a painful inflammation of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. This disease has been linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. The drugs have also been tied to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer.

Source: Food Consumer