According to some recent studies, breast cancer and diabetes have something in common: low insulin production. Do you want to know more about this?

Breast cancer and diabetes are diseases that, from the outside, have nothing to do with each other. But did you know that they have a common link? Yes, as you read. These two pathologies are connected by one characteristic: low insulin production. If you want to know a little more about how they are related, do not miss this article.

What is the relationship between breast cancer and diabetes?


According to a study published in the scientific paper Nature Cell Biology both diseases are much more connected than it seems: they make the body produce less insulin. This is what scientists at the University of California School of Medicine have discovered.

How is this possible? Breast cancer cells damage the pancreatic islets, which are responsible for creating insulin. This causes a domino effect and causes glucose to rise. As blood sugar levels rise, the tumor grows. This happens because the cancer cells are fed by glucose. So the higher the blood sugar, the more they can feed and grow.

With proper treatment, the cancer remits. But what happens to insulin production? Since the cells that make insulin have been damaged, they no longer produce it in the same way as they did before. That is why patients who have had breast cancer are more likely to have diabetes.

According to the study mentioned above, two years after having breast cancer, the risk of having diabetes begins to increase. After 10 years, women who have had breast cancer are 20% more likely to have diabetes than other women of the same age.

But, this relationship also works the other way around. If you are a woman and you have type 2 diabetes you are also more likely to have breast cancer. Roughly 20% to 27% more. However, these links are not definitive and are being studied.

What cancers are most common in people with diabetes?


Breast cancer is not the only case. People with diabetes are also susceptible to other types of cancers. In order to find out the relationship with these types of diseases the National Diabetes Register (NDR) in Sweden made a study on this topic.

The study analyzed different types of cancers in people with type 2 diabetes and their mortality. During the period of the research, almost half of the people who took part in it developed one of the 12 cancer types proposed for the investigation. Because of this, it was determined that diabetes was related to cancers such as:

  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Cancer of the uterus
  • Kidney cancer

No matter the type of cancer, early detection is the most important thing A diagnosis during the earliest stages may be what makes the difference between being able to be treated or not.

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