Scientists uncover the link between diabetes and increased c
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It seems researchers have now found a possible answer to the long-pending question: Why do people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing some forms of cancer?

"Higher-than-normal blood sugar levels are linked to heightened DNA damage that is fixed less often, which could explain why people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cancer," according to the results of ongoing research led by City of Hope, California, a research and treatment center for cancer and diabetes. The findings were presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2019 National Meeting and Exposition on August 25.

The link between diabetes and certain cancers may be due, in part, to shared risk factors such as aging, obesity, increased inflammation, dietary choices, and inactive lifestyles. According to Dr. John Termini, a professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at City of Hope, who presented the findings, it has been long known that people with type 2 diabetes - which is the most common form - have as much as a 2.5-fold increased risk for certain cancers such as liver or pancreatic cancer. They also run a higher-than-normal risk of developing colon, bladder, and breast cancer. Diabetic women with breast cancer have a higher death rate than women with breast cancer alone. "As the incidence of diabetes continues to rise, the cancer rate will likely increase, as well," Dr. Termini stated in the findings.

"Conversely, some forms of chemotherapy induce insulin resistance, bringing on diabetic symptoms. Immunotherapy, one of the most exciting advances in cancer treatment, may bring on the less common type 1 diabetes, which is essentially an autoimmune disorder. With immunotherapy, the body's immune system is 'unleashed,' and it may attack critical insulin-producing cells in the pancreas," the findings state.

Scientists, so far, have suspected that the increased cancer risk for diabetes is due to hormonal dysregulation. The researchers explain that in people with type 2 diabetes, their insulin is not effectively carrying glucose into cells. Accordingly, the pancreas makes more and more insulin, and they get what is known as 'hyperinsulinemia.' In addition to controlling blood glucose levels, the hormone insulin can stimulate cell growth, possibly leading to cancer.

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