A Swedish study has revealed that men suffering from type 2 diabetes have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer than do men in the rest of the population, in an examination of whether the chronic hormonal and metabolic problems characterised by type 2 diabetes may predispose to cancer.
Researchers have found a lower rate of prostate cancer among people with diabetes, although they are still investigating why this is. Kari Hemminki, who led the study, said “Possibly, a lower level of male sex hormones in diabetics may be among the factors that are responsible for this.”
The study, published in The Oncologist, examined the incidence of cancer in over 125,000 Swedes hospitalised due to complications in type 2 diabetes, as well as those of the general population. It showed a greater risk of several cancers in those with type 2 diabetes, especially pancreatic cancer and liver cell cancers. Diabetics also had twice the chance of contracting cancers of the thyroid, kidneys, small intestine, esophagus and nervous system.
The research also took into account whether the risk was greater in hospitalised diabetic patients, as their cancers were discovered earlier due to routine diagnostics.
The study pointed out that “The lower risk for prostate cancer has been observed in other studies, which is consistent with a lower level of serum prostate-specific antigen in diabetics.”
“Unraveling of the underlying mechanisms may give important clues about the shared pathways of type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer.”

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