Diabetes diagnosis may signal early pancreatic cancer in older people
Pancreatic cancer and type 2 diabetes (T2D) events are on the rise in the United States. Over 55,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during 2015 and about 80 percent of them diagnosed at an advanced stage. Most of the earlier studies on pancreatic cancer development have been done in the Caucasian race (also Caucasoid race).
In the current study, researchers wanted to find out a better way to identify pancreatic cancer early in people. Researchers have conducted the Multiethnic Cohort Study (MEC), an analytical study to find out the markers and characteristics of the pancreatic cancer disease. This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The study findings show the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) after the age of 60 years indicates an early sign of the development of pancreatic cancer.
Researchers have conducted follow-up studies on 50,000 on African-American and Hispanic men and women for about 20 years, who are at the highest risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). All the participants are without type 2 diabetes or pancreatic cancer at the start of the study. They used California hospital discharge records, Medicare claims and self-reporting of the people in determining the type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer development.
During the study period, researchers found the development of type 2 diabetes in about 15,800 of the people (32 percent) and pancreatic cancer in about 408 people. The median age of the patients at the time of pancreatic cancer diagnosis was 76.7 years. The following table shows the risk of pancreatic cancer among people aged between 65 and 85 and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the previous three years.
Other important findings are
This study findings clearly shows early signs of the development of pancreatic cancer can be predicted in some people with the development of type 2 diabetes.
The current study was done on African-American and Hispanic people and results may not be applied to all people. But the study found no association between the development of type 2 diabetes after 60 years and the development of prostate, breast or colorectal cancer.
It is not clear whether pancreatic cancer causes the development of type 2 diabetes or type 2 diabetes leads to the development of pancreatic cancer. Experts think that type 2 diabetes is a risk factor and also an outcome of pancreatic cancer. But the mechanism behind the association between type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer is not clear.
Now, the researchers are developing tests and guidelines for the identification of pancreatic cancer at the early phases. Researchers suggest that those minority people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently should consult their doctor about the possible signs of cancer, especially pancreatic cancer. New tools such as liquid biopsy test may be used for the early diagnosis of cancer.
Lead author of the study was Veronica Wendy Setiawan, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States. The study findings were published June 18, 2018 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Title of the article was "Pancreatic Cancer Following Incident Diabetes in African Americans and Latinos: The Multiethnic Cohort."
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Liquid biopsy : Liquid biopsy (also known as fluid phase biopsy) is a simple and non-invasive blood test to diagnose and monitor the tumor. This test checks for the cancer DNA in the blood. Development of cancer can be tracked in a better way by conducting this test more frequently over a period. This test can also be used to check the progress of the cancer treatment.
Pancreatic cancer : Pancreatic cancer is a fatal type of cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says the survival rate of pancreatic cancer over five years period is 8.5 percent. The survival rates of the pancreatic cancer are very poor. Better diagnosis tools and procedures are required for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Currently, there are no guidelines for pancreatic cancer screening.
A person will be affected with pancreatic cancer when cancerous cells form in the tissues of the pancreas gland. About 1.6 percent of the people are affected with this deadliest cancer. Disease symptoms appear when the disease is in an advanced stage. About 80 percent of pancreatic cancer patients were diagnosed at an advanced stage.
It is very difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer early to provide an effective treatment. Experts say the best option to cure this type of cancer is to identify the cancer development early and then surgically remove the tumor and surrounding tissue.
Following are the symptoms of the Pancreatic cancer.
The risk factors for pancreatic cancer are.
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.