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Diabetes Raises Risk of Cancer, Especially in Women

August 02, 2018

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By Sara Bondell

New research shows diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, particularly among women.

Researchers from The George Institute for Global Health reviewed dozens of studies involving almost 20 million people around the world and found that women with diabetes were 27 percent more likely to develop cancer than women without diabetes. For men, the risk was 19 percent higher.

"Some say that diabetes and cancer are close relatives," said Stacey Cayler, a certified diabetes educator at Moffitt. “Weight gain, an increase in fat tissue and high insulin levels can increase one’s chance of developing diabetes and cancer.”

The research shows there were significantly higher risks for women with diabetes for developing leukemia, kidney, oral and stomach cancers compared to men with diabetes. However, women had a 12 percent lower chance of developing liver cancer than men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 30 million American adults have diabetes and one in four do not know they have it. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled.

To reduce your risk of diabetes, Cayler recommends eating healthy, watching your portion sizes, avoiding regular soda and staying active.