Researchers have established a link between diabetes and colon cancer, it has emerged.

Scientists from the United States have confirmed that type 2 diabetes patients are more likely to develop colon cancer, although they have still to come up with an explanation for the reasons behind the link.

The study, carried out by a team at the University of California Berkeley and which was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, examined the findings from 14 separate international studies into the relationship, showing that diabetics were at a 38 per cent higher risk of developing colon cancer than people that don’t have diabetes.

After risk factors such as age, obesity and smoking were taken into account, there was still a link between the two conditions.

Hiroki Yuhara, who lead the research, claimed that many GPs do not usually recommend that patients with diabetes get earlier or more frequent screening for colon cancer.

Despite other risk factors, including having a family history of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease often being sufficient to prompt an early screening, so far diabetes is not usually seen on the list of factors.

It is thought that most GPs recommend screening for colon cancer, which normally involves colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies and stool blood tests, should begin from the age of 50.

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