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  Life   Health  02 Jul 2018  Diabetes and pancreatic cancer: Related?

Diabetes and pancreatic cancer: Related?

THE ASIAN AGE. | KANIZA GARARI
Published : Jul 2, 2018, 12:08 am IST
Updated : Jul 2, 2018, 12:08 am IST

Proper treatment for diabetes and regular follow-ups are necessary. Patients must make changes to their lifestyle & diet. They should Also exercise.

Late-onset diabetes may be an early indicator of pancreatic cancer or a factor that contributes to its development.
 Late-onset diabetes may be an early indicator of pancreatic cancer or a factor that contributes to its development.

The late onset of diabetes, after the age of 50, is a factor known to contribute to the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. A study recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that patients with late-onset diabetes should undergo regular screening for pancreatic cancer to help them identify the disease at an early stage.

According to the National Cancer Institute, pancreatic cancer has a five-year survival rate of only 8.5 per cent, and clinical experts state that identification of the condition is a challenge. A professor from the Department of Endocrinology at Osmania General Hospital believes that better cancer markers are needed.

1 Many people who develop diabetes after the age of 50, also develop pancreatic cancer. Is late-onset diabetes a risk factor for pancreatic cancer?

Late-onset of diabetes is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, but it does not mean that all the people who suffer from diabetes will also get cancer. Other factors like smoking, drinking, obesity, and genetic mutations also play a role in the development of cancer. It has been found that those who eat a lot of red meat and fatty foods have a high risk of developing the disease.

2 Is it the early-stage pancreatic cancer that presents itself in the form of diabetes?

People with late-onset diabetes show severe glucose intolerance and beta cell function. Both of these are indicators of pancreatic problems.

There is a theory that pancreatic cancer mimics the symptoms of diabetes, but we need to develop accurate indicators to understand it better.

3 Do patients with long-standing diabetes also suffer from pancreatic cancer?

Patients with long-standing diabetes should be checked for liver, breast, endometrial, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer because they are at a high risk. But if they implement lifestyle changes and manage their diabetes properly, then the risk factor is minimised.

4 What is the incidence of pancreatic cancer in India?

Two out of 1,00,000 people in India develop pancreatic cancer. It is an aggressive form of cancer, and it is difficult to detect. It is usually identified only when it reaches stage 2 or stage 3 of the disease.

5 India has a large number of diabetic patients. How does proper management of the condition help?

It has been found that the use of metformin for the treatment of diabetes also helps reduce the risk of malignancies. Proper treatment for diabetes and regular follow-ups are necessary. Patients must also make changes to their lifestyle and diet; they should exercise to keep their weight under control. These changes go a long way in managing the disease and keeping cancer at bay.

Tags: diabetes, pancreatic cancer, national cancer institute, journal of the national cancer institute