Shared Risk Factors Among Diabetes and Cancer


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Shared Risk Factors Among Diabetes and Cancer

Health is a blessing and you only tend to realize that once it is lost. You will be shocked to see the number of people who are suffering from some condition or the other, even if they are in the prime of their age. Research has clearly depicted that more and more people are becoming obese, contracting heart disease and diabetes and becoming prone to various kinds of allergic reactions. Even cancer is becoming rampant

Did you know that cancer shares many risk factors with diabetes? Quite a few things that lead to diabetes also cause cancer. According to statements by American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society, the two diseases are interlinked because of their risk factors. But why is this so? This they are still not certain about, because there isn’t enough research to go by.

Hence the reason why doctors stress the point of having your diabetes in control. Stats show that people who have diabetes are at a greater risk of acquiring different kinds of cancers like liver, breast, colorectal, pancreas, bladder and endometrial cancer. So what is it that you need to know about diabetes, cancers and their risk factors? Here is some information for you.

What are the Risk Factors?

First things first. What are the risk factors that diabetes and cancer share? There are two types, modifiable and non-modifiable.

Non modifiable risks

These risk factors are ones that you cannot control nor do anything about. They include:

  • Ethnicity: Yes socioeconomic and genetic differences play a role, but studies conducted in North America clearly state that certain ethnic groups lie the First Nations and African-Americans are likelier to be diagnosed with both cancer and diabetes as compared to others.
  • Gender: Males are more at risk of developing both cancer and diabetes as compared to females. The reason may simply be the hormonal step of the two genders. Older males are more at risk of contracting either diabetes or cancer.
  • Age: Research shows that people who are over the age of 50 are 90% more likely to have cancer or diabetes diagnosed. The more you age, the more this risk increases.

Modifiable risks

These are the kind of risks or circumstances that you can control in order to prevent diabetes and cancers of many kinds. These include:

  • Increased weight or Obesity: The rise in obesity is enormous. More and more people are getting overweight which is directly proportional to the festering of diseases like diabetes and cancer. Be it men or women, whoever is obese faces the likelihood of developing various kinds of diseases. Studies on obese subjects clearly specify that it is the leading cause of type II diabetes as well as cancer of the colon/rectum, gallbladder, liver, endometrium, pancreas and esophagus. Research has confirmed that when a person is obese they develop insulin resistance which leads to colon cancer as well as type II diabetes.
  • Tobacco: Smoking is one primary cause of mouth and lung cancer. People who smoke are also the ones who develop type II diabetes.
  • Sedentary lifestyle and Diet: People who continue to eat unhealthy and live a life of inactivity develop insulin resistance as well as weight issues. This in turn causes diabetes and cancers of different kinds.
  • Use of Medicines: When once medicines were only taken when a person fell sick, they have now become a household necessity. With the increase in disease, there has also been an influx of medication at every household. From metformin to aspirin all are said to have some relation with the occurrence of cancer.
  • Socioeconomic Status: People are less deprived or have too much abundance both are likely to be afflicted by diabetes and cancers. Those who have poor diets or inaccessibility to necessities of life like clean water and nutritious foods are more prone to developing diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer.

Studies clearly indicated that hyperglycemia leads to the production of carcinogenic agents. What is even worse though is that treatment for diabetes like the use of Lantus leads to the production of cancer cells in the body. Hence there is a greater need to make sure that people who have diabetes consume medication that is safe and does not promote any other kind of disease or disorder.

Keep in mind though that the theory which states that cancer can be caused by treatment of diabetes has as yet no concrete proof. Metformin is said to lower the risk of cancer. But newer drugs that are in the market to treat diabetes are said to be harmful for the body and may give rise to cancerous agents in the body.

How to Lower the Risks

So what can be done to get rid of this epidemic and ensure you are safe from both diabetes and cancer? Here are some easy ways.

  • Pay attention to your weight: It is essential that you maintain your BMI. If you feel that your weight is increasing take a look at your diet as well as lifestyle. Make sure you get rid of any extra pounds.
  • Eating habits: Eating healthy is mandatory. Yes it is ok to consume processed and packaged foods once in awhile, but ensure that your diet consist of nutritious meals. This includes everything from fresh fruits and veggies to whole grains, nuts, lean meats, sea foods and healthy oils. If you must have something that is canned, go for one that has no added sugar.
  • Low Fat or nondairy: Opt for soy milk, low fat milk and Greek yogurt instead of full fat dairy items.
  • Lean Meats: Lean cuts of meat ensure that no extra fat is consumed. This way you keep away from risk of acquiring heart conditions, obesity and diabetes.
  • Nuts: Nuts provide with Omega 3 acids that help in fighting heart issues as well as many cancers.
  • Exercise: Say goodbye to a sedentary lifestyle because this is what leads to obesity. Be sure to exercise at least 5 days a week, even if it is only a walk in the park for 30 minutes. Take stairs instead of the elevator, walk to work, or cycle and be sure to join the gym.
  • Get Rid of the Smoke: Smoking causes cancer, accept it. Instead of going around the fact, try to get rid of the habit.
  • Stay away from drugs: They kill. It is that simple. Avoid them like the plague.

You can play an active role to help prevent both diabetes and some cancers. So opt for a healthy lifestyle and remain aware of what is happening around you.


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