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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Diabetes treatment linked to high death risk in cancer patients

Friday May 2, 2014 ( -- A study released in Diabetologia shows that cancer patients who suffer type 2 diabetes mellitus particularly those who receive insulin therapy or oral hypoglycaemic agent (OHA) are at higher risk of premature death.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus has been found associated with increased risk of developing cancer. The current study suggests that diabetes mellitus type 2 and diabetes treatment including insulin and OHA can also boost the risk of death in cancer patients.

The study led by K. Ranc at Copenhagen University in Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues was based on data from a cancer registry that included all cancer patients diagnosed in Denmark between 1995 and 2009. Cancer patients were classified into four groups, no diabetes, diabetes without treatment, diabetes treated with only OHA and diabetes treated with insulin.

Cancer patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were at higher risk of premature death than those who did not have diabetes. The death risk was particularly higher among those who not only suffered diabetes, but also received treatments including insulin treatment and OHA treatment.

Male cancer patients who had suffered type 2 diabetes for two years prior to the diagnosis of cancer and also received insulin therapy were 270% more likely to die. The death risk was increased by 340% among female cancer patients with diabetes who also received treatment for one year after cancer diagnosis.

The longer diabetes treatment led to an even higher increase in the risk of death in cancer patients. Among cancer patients with diabetes treated for nine years after cancer diagnosis, the risk of death was increased five times in men and 6.5 times in women.

The authors suggested that cancer patients who also received diabetes treatment often suffered comorbidity at the time of cancer diagnosis and comorbidity is the reason for poorer cancer survival.

However, the possibility exists that the insulin therapy and OHA treatment per se may increase the risk of premature death in cancer patients too.

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is easy to prevent in most cases. Indian studies have found that prediabetics can almost completely prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by taking 6 grams of curcumin per day for three months. Cinnamon is another effective alternative that may be used as a preventative against type 2 diabetes mellitus. (David Liu)


1 comment:

Galina L. said...

Does anyone of your team tried cinnamon or curcumin?
It hard to comprehend that lower sugar could be preferable for diabetic patients with cancer than aggressive medical therapy.