Prevent diabetes to reduce cancer risk

The most recent research of the National Cancer Institute confirms that diabetes can increase cancer risk. Over a period of 11 years, researchers collected diet, lifestyle and health data from 500,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71. The results show that having diabetes was associated with an 11-percent increased risk of cancer death among women and a 17-percent increased risk among men.

The research reports that both men and women who have diabetes have a higher risk of colon, rectal and liver cancers. Men are at a higher risk of pancreatic and kidney cancers, while women are more at risk of stomach, anal and endometrial cancer.

A study by the New England Journal of Medicine determined that people with Type 2 diabetes are 25 percent more likely to die from cancer than non-diabetics.

What is the link between diabetes and cancer risk?
The specific link between diabetes and cancer is not determined, but a panel of experts from the American Cancer Society and American Diabetes Association suggest that preventing or managing diabetes through a healthy lifestyle can help lower cancer risk.

Know your risk for diabetes

The American Diabetes Association states the following risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes:

  • People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
  • People more than 45 years old
  • People with a family history of diabetes
  • People who are overweight
  • People who do not exercise regularly
  • People with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure
  • Certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)
  • Women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing nine pounds or more at birth

Lower your risk for diabetes

  • Eat a healthy diet, comprised primarily of fruits, vegetables and grains
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

Talk with your health care team about strategies for developing a healthy lifestyle and reducing your diabetes risk. WVCI patients can schedule a free appointment to meet with our registered dietitian by calling 541-681-4945.

By Josh Kermisch, executive director of WVCI


Posted February 8, 2012


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