Diabetics more likely to develop breast, colon cancer

Updated: Sep 29, 2013, 11:12 AM IST

Washington: A new study has warned that diabetes sufferers are more prone to developing breast and colon cancer and at an even higher risk of dying from them.

Dr Kirstin De Bruijn said that previous studies have examined the association between diabetes and dying from cancer but death from specific types of cancer has not been well-studied.

"Our meta-analysis is the first to combine incidence and death from breast and colon cancer, while excluding all other causes of death. We have investigated the link between diabetes and the risk of developing as well as the risk of dying from these cancers," she said.

Dr De Bruijn, a PhD student in the Surgery Department at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed results from 20 trials that had taken place between 2007 and 2012, involving more than 1.9 million patients with breast or colon cancer, with or without diabetes.

They found that patients with diabetes had a 23 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer and a 38 percent increased risk of dying from the disease compared to non-diabetic patients.

Diabetic patients had a 26 percent increased risk of developing colon cancer and a 30 percent increased risk of dying from it compared to non-diabetic patients, the findings showed.

Bruijn said that the results for breast and colon cancer incidence in patients with diabetes are consistent with other meta-analyses, additionally their meta-analysis showed a higher risk and a stronger association between diabetes and death from breast and colon cancer than previously reported.

Bruijn said that cancer patients, who are obese and diabetic, are an already more vulnerable group of individuals when it comes to surgery, as they have an increased risk of developing complications both during and after surgery.