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Diabetes: a risk factor for cancer

If you have diabetes and have done the task of informing yourself, you will know that this condition can cause complications in various organs and parts of the body. The kidneys, the heart, the nerves, the eyes and the feet are among them.But I bet you did not think that having diabetes is a risk factor for developing cancer. Do you want to know why and what can you do about it?

There is a saying that says “behind the cotudo, with mumps”. This saying expresses the bad luck of someone who has something doubly harmful and makes me think that having diabetes  and cancer  at the same time can be, in reality, a difficult scenario for anyone.

If you have diabetes, you probably know that lack of control can cause many serious complications . Here in Life and Health you can find articles that tell you about the problems that high glucose (sugar) can cause to the functioning of the kidneys , the nerves of the body , the heart  and the eyes , among others. However, this is the first time we have discussed that diabetes can be a risk factor for developing cancer.

According to several studies, having type 2 diabetes raises the risk of developing several types of cancer. In particular, it increases twice the possibility of suffering from liver cancer , pancreatic cancer  and endometrial cancer . Also, type 2 diabetes also contributes to the development of colorectal cancer , the breast cancer (breast cancer)  and  bladder cancer  20% to 50%. Interestingly, type 2 diabetes decreases the risk of having prostate cancer.

What makes having diabetes increase the chances of developing cancer? The reasons can range from treatments for type 2 diabetes to cancer, until the causes of diabetes are also cancer. Although not yet known for sure, there is research that indicates that the two diseases share risk factors. The American Diabetes Association cites the following:

  • Age . As you get older, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cancer increases.
  • Sex . In general, men suffer more from cancer and it is they who have a little more risk of developing diabetes in relation to women.
  • Race / ethnicity : Blacks and whites (Caucasians) are more likely to have cancer, while blacks, Indians, Hispanics and Asian Americans are at higher risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes.
  • Overweight . Obesity  and being overweight is a factor that increases the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
  • Sedentary . Not exercising also raises the chances of suffering from cancer and diabetes.
  • Smoking  and drinking alcohol . Tobacco is related to the development of several types of cancer and there are studies that suggest that it may have an influence on the development of type 2 diabetes. Alcoholic beverages also increase the risk of suffering both conditions. A woman, if she drinks, should drink only one drink a day, and a man, if he drinks, no more than two to avoid the risks.

One of the types of cancer that is most related to diabetes is colorectal cancer. Several studies estimate that the chances of suffering from colon cancer is 38% higher among people with diabetes and 20% higher for rectal cancer.

It is believed that the proliferating power (multiplier) of the cells that insulin has is responsible for the relationship between diabetes and colorectal cancer. Insulin plays a very important role in the growth of mucous cells of the colon and can easily spread cancer cells.

In general, it is also said that high blood sugar levels, high levels of insulin in the blood and inflammation, increase the risk of developing cancer.

So things, everything indicates that the best way to prevent both type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer, is still the one that I have always recommended: take a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in fat. Exercise, do not smoke and do not drink alcoholic beverages. And of course, consult the doctor because there are also genetic factors that can play against you in this equation.

In any case, remember that you can help prevent.

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