Type 1 Diabetes and Cancer

A report on Reuters Health yesterday shared that Type 1 diabetes is tied to risk for a wide range of cancers and that, specifically, “people with type 1 diabetes are more likely than the general population to develop cancers of gastric organs and the kidneys, as well as endometrium and ovaries for women, according to a large new analysis.”

BC Diabetes Medical Director, Dr. Tom Elliott, says that “Cancer rates in diabetes have been known for some time to be modestly increased, related primarily to being overweight.  This publication indicates higher risks in Type 1 diabetes (where individuals are less prone to be overweight that Type 2 diabetes): although these findings are statistically significant, they are of not clinically relevant.  In men, liver cancer was increased by 50% (and 78% in women) however the background incidence of this cancer is rare, affecting fewer than 1 in 10,000 individuals.  There was good news however: the commonest cancer in men, prostate cancer, was reduced by 56% and in women, the biggest cancer killer, breast cancer, was reduced by 10%.”

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