Tackling Cancer by Fighting Diabetes

Among the several healthy reasons to avoid or control diabetes are new findings that it reduces your risk of dying from cancer.


Diabetes is linked to an 11 percent increased risk for cancer mortality in women. For men, it’s worse: a 17 percent increased risk for dying from cancers.

The good news is that diabetes can often be controlled by making behavioral changes. Exercise, proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy body weight can prevent and control diabetes.

The findings come from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study a study which included more than 500,000 people ages 50 to 71. Researchers tracked information about their diet and lifestyle habits for 11 years. The findings were recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research.

Previous have shown a link between diabetes and increased risk for colorectal, liver and pancreatic cancers.

The new study shows men with diabetes have a higher chance of getting pancreatic and bladder cancer. Women with diabetes have a greater risk for stomach, anal and endometrial cancers.

Roughly 12 percent of Virginians have diabetes, one of the highest rates in the country. The most common form of diabetes, type 2, is associated with obesity, older age, genetics and lack of exercise, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Eighty percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

People develop type 2 diabetes when their bodies cannot use insulin effectively.

Sources: American Association for Cancer Research, National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health Study

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