Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

Diabetes Linked With Lower Cancer Survival: Study

Diabetic people may have issues that complicate and hamper cancer care, researchers say

  • Print

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients with diabetes are more likely to die than those without diabetes, and the risk is especially high for those taking insulin, a new study finds.

The findings were published March 13 in the journal Diabetologia.

The risk of death "of cancer patients with pre-existing diabetes is higher relative to non-diabetic patients for all cancers combined and for most individual cancer sites," study author Kristina Ranc, of the University of Copenhagen and the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark, said in a journal news release.

In their study, Ranc's team examined data from all patients diagnosed with cancer in Denmark from 1995 to 2009. The patients were divided into four groups based on their diabetes status at the time of cancer diagnosis: diabetes-free; diabetes without medication; diabetes and taking only diabetes drugs in pill form; and diabetes and taking insulin.

Patients who had diabetes and were taking insulin at the time of cancer diagnosis had a four-fold higher risk of dying within a year of their cancer diagnosis, and a five times increased risk of death within five years of diagnosis, the study found.

Patients who had diabetes and were taking only diabetes pills such as metformin had a 10 percent increased risk of death after two years, and a 50 percent increased risk of death after five years, the team added. The rise in death risk for patients with diabetes who weren't on any treatment was similar to those who were taking diabetes pills.

How might having diabetes lower cancer survival? According to the researchers, differences in the ways diabetic patients are treated for their cancer might be to blame. For example, cancer patients with diabetes often have other diabetes-related health problems -- such as heart and kidney disease -- that may affect cancer care decisions.

Patients with both cancer and diabetes are a particularly at-risk group and measures are needed to reduce deaths among these patients, the Danish group said.

It is "crucial that cancer patients with diabetes receive optimal diabetes treatment as well as any cancer-specific therapy," Ranc said in a journal news release. Howeer, that remains "a therapeutic challenge requiring close collaboration between oncologists and endocrinologists," she added.

The authors stressed that the study could only find an association between diabetes and decreased cancer survival, it could not prove cause-and-effect.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about diabetes.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Throne speech supports Winnipeg, Bowman and Chief say

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Would you visit Dalnavert Museum if it reopened?

View Results

Ads by Google