People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die from certain cancers compared to the general population, according to a new study.
Researchers have found that patients with this disease have an increased risk of dying from pancreatic, bowel or liver cancer.
Women with type 2 are also more likely to die from endometrial cancer.
According to a new study published in the journal Diabetologia, people with the condition have an 18% higher risk of dying from cancer.
Researchers at the University of Leicester said cancer risk should be treated “like other complications of type 2 diabetes, such as an increased risk of heart disease”.
The study, funded by the charity Hope Against Cancer, found that women with type 2 diabetes have a 9% higher risk of dying from breast cancer – and the risk appears to be rising.
They suggested it might be beneficial to expand breast cancer screening – currently offered to women aged 50 to 71 in England – so that younger women with type 2 diabetes can be screened.
The team analyzed data from 137,804 people in the UK with type 2 diabetes, with an average age of 64, and tracked them for 8.4 years.
More than 39,000 people in the study died during the follow-up period.
During the study period – from 1998 to 2018 – researchers analyzed mortality trends among people participating in the study and compared them with people in the general population.
They found that cancer mortality among people with type 2 diabetes aged 55 and 65 decreased slightly over the study period.
But they increased among those aged 75 and 85.
The authors wrote: “Our findings underscore the growing burden of cancer in people with type 2 diabetes, especially in the elderly, and highlight the need to prioritize cancer prevention, screening, and early detection and treatment in this population, especially for colorectal, pancreatic, liver, and liver cancers. . and endometrial cancer, with mortality rates significantly higher in people with type 2 diabetes than in the general population.”
Commenting on the study, Dr Lucy Chambers, head of research communications at Diabetes UK, said: “If you live with type 2 diabetes, over time high blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fat levels can cause serious long-term damage to your body, including eyes, heart, nerves and kidneys.
“Type 2 diabetes is also associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer, and both conditions may share common risk factors.
“These studies indicate that while people with type 2 diabetes in the UK are living longer, deaths from certain types of cancer appear to be increasing, particularly among older people with type 2 diabetes.
“These findings highlight the need for more research into cancer causes and prevention in this population.”