6.Men with type 2 diabetes have a significantly lower rate of prostate cancer (may be related to lower levels of testosterone).

7.The combined effect of smoking, excessive drinking, poor diet, and physical inactivity significantly raises premature death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Cumulative survival, adjusted for subject age at baseline and sex, was 96 percent for those who had none of the poor health behaviors measured, compared with 85 percent for those who had all four poor health behaviors.

8.Rituxamab, a drug that treats lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, may soon be used to help stop the destruction of pancreatic beta cells in newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes. A one-time dose of Rituxamab temporarily slows or stops the destruction of the 10 or 20 percent of beta cells that type 1s typically have remaining when they are first diagnosed. Further studies are needed to assess the impact of ongoing treatments.

9.Childhood cancer survivors have double the risk of getting diabetes based on the type of treatment received (anticancer radiation therapy may damage the pancreas). Ongoing endocrine follow-up is important for these children.

Dr. Ulf Smith summarized these findings in a sobering statement, "One point has become abundantly clear … cancer must now be numbered amongst the complications of diabetes."

What You Can Do
Take this in stride. Keep in mind that self-care behaviors such as healthy eating, being active, and controlling weight either decrease or increase the risk for cancer and diabetes depending how consistent you are with them.

Until we have national guidelines on how best to incorporate this research into our standards of practice, advocate for yourself. Ask your provider about getting screened for cancer, get regular mammograms, colonoscopies, prostate exams, and the like.

Evidence remains unclear as to why people with diabetes have higher rates of cancer. As research continues to unfold, it is important to stay informed in order to maintain awareness, minimize risk with healthy living, discuss screening tests with your provider, and get help early on if something doesn't feel right in your body. Ongoing efforts to maintain glucose control remain paramount.

Read Theresa's bio here.

Read more of Theresa Garnero's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


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Last Modified Date: July 08, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...
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