The study found diabetes and high body mass index associated with greater cancer risks
Earlier studies show diabetes and higher body mass index (a risk factor to type 2 diabetes) are risk factors to multiple types of cancers such breast, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, liver and pancreatic cancers. But those studies did not show the number of new cancer cases due to diabetes or higher body mass index.
A comparative risk assessment study spanning 175 countries done during 2012 by the British researchers shows an increased risk to the development multiple forms of cancer among people with diabetes and with body mass index (BMI) of more than 25kg/meter2.
Researchers say the possible strong association between cancer and diabetes or high body mass index was due to biological mechanisms such as chronic inflammation, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar or glucose levels), hyperinsulinemia (excess levels of insulin in the blood) and the dysregulation of sex hormone activity. They also say factors such as insulin resistance and inflammation due to the increased fat tissue may also increase cancer risks.
In a first documented study, researchers have analyzed the development of 12 types of cancers with diabetes or higher body mass index as risk factors. The study shows 792,000 or 5.6 percent of all cancer cases in the year 2012 is due to the combined effects of high body mass index (BMI) and diabetes.
For the study purpose, researchers have used GLOBOCAN data for estimating the number of cancer cases and percentage of cases in each country and in each region. Study results show.
New cancer cases are expected to increase further due to lifestyle changes. Cancer cases in the coming years are expected to increase to more than 20 percent in men and to more than 30 percent in women. But these two risk factors are preventable with lifestyle changes.
Researchers say insulin may be a form of oncogenic viruses as earlier studies show higher risk to colorectal and breast cancer with hyperinsulinemia. The cancer risk with insulin is irrespective of their body mass index (BMI). But the study could not show the cause and effect relationship between cancer and any risk factors.
Lead author of the Wellcome Trust and NIHR funded study was Dr. Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, Imperial College in London. The study findings were published November 28, 2017 in The Lancet. Title of the article was "Worldwide burden of cancer attributable to diabetes and high body-mass index: a comparative risk assessment."
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.