UK study shows increased cancer mortality in people with type 2 diabetes

Breast cancer mortality rates in younger women with T2D are rising – authors suggest breast cancer screening could be extended to younger women with T2D. Photo: Pexels

(EurekAlert) — New research, funded by Hope Against Cancer and published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) shows that cancer mortality in people with type 2 diabetes substantially higher than the general population, by 18% for all cancers combined, 9% for breast cancer and 2.4 times for colorectal cancer.

Cancer mortality in people with diabetes was also around double that in the general population for diabetes-related cancers including liver (both sexes), pancreatic (both sexes) and endometrial (women only) cancers. (see table 4 in full paper).

The study, by Dr Suping Ling, Leicester Real World Evidence Unit, Leicester Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester, and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, also showed increasing breast cancer mortality rates by 4.1% per year, in the younger women with type 2 diabetes, across the 20-year study period from 1998-2018.(see Electronic Supplementary Material [ESM] table 7, link below, and explanatory notes from the authors).

Accumulating epidemiological evidence has shown a higher risk of incidence and mortality for some types of cancer in individuals with type 2 diabetes, with prolonged exposure to the effects of increased blood sugar and insulin levels, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation being the potential underlying biological mechanisms. (…)