Death from cancer is increased if living with type 2 diabetes, according to research

Insulin resistance can aggravate cancer  (PA Wire)
Insulin resistance can aggravate cancer (PA Wire)

Alongside being at higher risk of vision loss, kidney problems, amputation, stroke and heart disease, people with type 2 diabetes are also at heightened risk of death from cancer.

The new study found those suffering with type 2 diabetes are more than twice as likely to die from the disease.

And British researchers found that those with pancreatic, bowel, liver, and endometrial cancer will double their risk of death if they are also living with diabetes.

The findings are a stark warning that cancer may in fact be the leading cause of death in people with type 2 diabetes compared to heart disease and stroke.

Why type 2 diabetes increases cancer death risk

Researchers hypothesise that having high levels of increased blood sugar and insulin levels could be the cause.

Type 2 diabetics are sensitive to insulin and therefore their blood sugar levels keep rising, meaning more insulin is released.

Having insulin resistance alongside chronic inflammation can cause some cancers to be more deadly.

What the study found on the link between diabetes and cancer fatalities

In the study, information from more than 135,000 Britons was used from the UK general practice database with participants aged 35 and over who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the periods 1998 to 2018.

The data was analysed and found that those linked to both type 2 diabetes and cancer deaths had risen over the past few decades.

They also found that young woman with type 2 diabetes were at heightened risk of death if they developed breast cancer.

There are a number of previous studies which support the hypothesis that these diseases are interlinked, and that obesity may aggravate the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Dr Suping Ling, who led the research by Leicester Diabetes Research Centre and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said the results showed type 2 diabetes was influencing cancer death rates and suggested more needs to be done when it comes to screening programmes and investigations if a patient suffers with type 2 diabetes and cancer.

How to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes

According to Diabetes UK, ways to lower blood sugars and type 2 diabetes risks include:

  • Choose drinks without added sugar

  • Choose higher-fibre carbs

  • Cut down on red and processed meat

  • Eat plenty of fruit and veg

  • Choose unsweetened yoghurt and cheese

  • Be sensible with alcohol

  • Choose healthier snacks