For diabetics with cancer, education helps them fight both diseases
A new study shows that diabetic cancer patients can fight diabetes more effectively when they're educated about how to treat their bodies.
Typically, experts say, a diabetic cancer patient will focus more on battling the cancer, leaving diabetes unchecked and often propelling them into dangerous blood sugar territory.
But the study, published in the online edition of Population Health Management, found that having both cancer and diabetes seemed to help patients battle both diseases more effectively.
"I think it goes down to information being very powerful," said Dr. June McKoy, a senior study author. "We have found that people with diabetes tend to do better with more information about their illness."
McKoy says that when cancer patients are properly educated about how to manage their diabetes, a "light bulb goes off" and patients become more inclined to take better care of themselves and their health. If diabetic patients don't manage their condition properly, cancer can become much more problematic, notes McKoy.
The study explains how cancer patients should be educated on how diabetes affects the immune system and, therefore, their cancer. Becoming educated about what to do, what to eat, and how to make specific lifestyle changes is key.
"Everyone involving the patient, including the educator, is part of a team. Patients do better when we work as a team," said McKoy.
McKoy hopes next to study which types of cancers diabetics most often develop and why.
Source: Chicago Tribune