News

Diabetes Sufferers Can Get Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is another disease that diabetes sufferers have to take heed of. Diabetics have long known that they are at higher risk of heart disease, eye and foot troubles and kidney failure.
Recent research has highlighted that someone who is diabetic is more susceptible to colon cancer.
The research team based at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charlesto, based its findings on data from 226,000 people, collected from 1997 to 2003 as part of the National Health Interview Survey.
6% of respondents had a history of diabetes. After compensating for other factors that affect risk, that is, exercise, age, gender, tobacco use, alcohol use, the researchers found that individuals with diabetes were 1.4 times more likely than nondiabetics to develop colon cancer.
The research does not show why this was the case, says Dr. Donald Garrow, who led the study. Yet he notes that elevated insulin levels in the blood of those with diabetes are thought to affect cells in the colon’s lining.
“In the lab, these mucosal cells, when exposed to high levels of insulin, develop into cancer cells,” he said.
Garrow says the study highlights the fact that people with diabetes must be careful to follow colorectal cancer screening guidelines. The American Cancer Society now recommends that, beginning at age 50, men and women at average risk should be screened with tests such as the fecal occult blood test and colonoscopy.

To Top