People with diabetes mellitus have three to four times the risk of developing liver cancer, and more than twice the risk of developing pancreatic cancer than non-diabetic individuals, according to research presented at the Third Annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Meeting in Seattle.
Marie-Claude Rousseau, lead author on the study, compared 3,288 men diagnosed with 12 different cancer types to 509 healthy individuals, in order to determine whether those reporting a prior diagnosis of diabetes were more likely to have cancer.
“Among those who reported being diabetic, there was a three-fold increased risk for liver cancer,” said Rousseau, a postdoctoral fellow in Epidemiology at the Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada. “When we looked at the individuals who reported taking medication for their diabetes, the risk for liver cancer increased to almost four-fold, compared to individuals who were not diabetic.” Rousseau noted that these findings were independent of the body mass index of the individuals.
In this study, diabetics did not have increased risks for other cancer types, including melanoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, lung, prostate, bladder, and kidney.
Rousseau, who is funded by the Canadian Cancer Society through the National Cancer Institute of Canada, conducted this research with her colleagues Jack Siemiatycki at the Université de Montréal, and Marie-Élise Parent, at the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Laval, Quebec, Canada.