According to an article recently published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer, particularly among men and smokers.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. If detected and treated early, cure rates for colorectal cancer are high. However, once the cancer has spread from its site of origin, cure rates fall dramatically.
Patients who are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer may benefit from closer monitoring and screening for colorectal cancer so that the disease is detected and treated in its earliest stages.
Researchers from several institutions in the U.S. recently evaluated data involving nearly 2,000 individuals who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 1970 and 1994. Patients were followed until death, emigration, or until the end of 1999.
- Among men, type 2 diabetes was associated with a significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer when compared to historical data.
- Individuals with type 2 diabetes who were former or current smokers were also at significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- Women with type 2 diabetes who had never smoked were not at significantly increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
The researchers concluded that type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer, particularly among men and former or current smokers. Patients with type 2 diabetes should speak with their physician regarding screening for colorectal cancer.
Reference: Limburg P, Vierkant R, Frederickson Z, et al. Clinically Confirmed Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Colorectal Cancer Risk: A Population-Based, Retrospective Cohort Study. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2006;101:1872-1879.