Research Suggests That Diabetes May Be An Early Warning Sign of Pancreatic Cancer

New research suggests that diabetes could be an early warning sign of pancreatic cancer. This could be a breakthrough for pancreatic cancer diagnosis as this cancer is often diagnosed late due to a lack of symptoms. The study found that about 50 percent of the people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and given medication were then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year later.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 53,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. This study is said to reinforce an already-established association between type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

"..the relationship between the two conditions is complex."

Alice Koechlin from the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France told the European Cancer Congress, where the research was presented, that the relationship between diabetes and pancreatic cancer is complex.

The presented study included 368,377 people with type 2 diabetes in Belgium and another 456,311 in Italy. The patients were followed for a five-year period, with 885 and 1,872 being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (respectively) during that time. This equates to a 3.5x higher rate of pancreatic cancer for type 2 diabetics than with a control population. Usually within months of diagnosis.

The research did not discount the possibility that the hormonal treatment used to treat type 2 diabetes could be a part of the problem. They did, however, find that the risk of pancreatic cancer decreased over time, including in those patients taking non-incretin diabetes treatments.

Source: WebMD.com

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