New research has claimed that the common diabetes treatments can effect the potential risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Common treatments, such as metformin, which is taken by some patients with type 2 diabetes, was linked to fewer cases of pancreatic cancer in women, although other diabetes drugs were seen to increase the risk of the disease.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, involved the review of primary care data on over eight million people in the UK, including around 2,800 of which had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer between 1995 and 2009. Two percent of patients with pancreatic cancer had been using metformin on a long-term basis before they were diagnosed, as compared with 1.6 percent of those without cancer.
When gender was assessed, it was found that substantially fewer women with a new diagnosis of pancreatic cancer had been taking metformin for at least a few years, as compared with cancer-free women. It was also shown that one in nine pancreatic cancer patients had a prior diagnosis of diabetes, as compared with around one in twelve for those who were cancer-free.
Metformin performed well in the research, supporting previous studies showing that it was able to reduce the likelihood of multiple cancers, while some of the newer diabetes drugs performed less effectively. It was not conclusively shown why such treatments affect men and women differently.

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