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The Connection Between Diabetes & Cancer

Peninsula Radiation - Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Why It Matters & What It Means For You

There are more than 100 different types of cancer, and finding the cause for each one is a major component of ongoing research efforts. While the causes for many of the conditions still haven’t been nailed down, what we do know is that cancer has a connection with a number of other medical conditions and risk factors, with one of those connections being with Type 2 Diabetes. Researchers have discovered that those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cancer compared to those without it, but what exactly about diabetes increases cancer risk? While it’s still speculative, below are some possible links between cancer and diabetes, courtesy of your local Soldotna, AK cancer care team at Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center.

Similar Risk Factors

Knowing the risk factors for cancer has helped many patients work to prevent the advancement of their cancer, or even seek out screenings and treatment to catch it early and improve treatment effectiveness. Some risk factors for cancer include obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking, all of which are also risk factors for the development of Type 2 Diabetes. While this link does not definitively show that diabetes can be a potential cause of cancer, there is a link with these shared risk factors that is impossible to ignore.

Type 2’s Effect On The Body

With Type 2 Diabetes, the main effects on the body consist of changes in insulin production, blood glucose levels, and increased chances of inflammation. Type 2 diabetes patients often produce more insulin than they need since they become insulin resistant. Unfortunately, higher level of insulin in the body have been directly linked to increased risk of cancer. While higher blood glucose levels and inflammation could also be contributing factors, there isn’t much research to support the connection to cancer compared that of higher insulin levels.

What You Can Do To Manage Your Risk

If you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, the best thing that you can do is work to manage the symptoms of your diabetes, while working with a doctor to keep a close eye on your health and perform regular cancer screenings. Since cancer and diabetes share risk factors, doing things like managing your weight, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and steering clear of tobacco products will reduce your risk of developing cancer. Ask your physician if you are due for any cancer screening tests, since catching cancer early will dramatically improve the effectiveness of treatment.

Contact Us For Professional Cancer Support!

If you have any questions about the link between diabetes and cancer, risk factor management, or cancer treatment, contact us at Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center to speak to a member of our team. As your local center for professional radiation treatment and cancer care support, we’ll happily provide you with all the information that you need. We look forward to hearing from you!


At Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center, we know that cancer patients are best served by being treated in close proximity to a support network of family and friends. We offer patients in Southeast Alaska the ability to receive state-of-the-art radiation therapy without the burden of traveling great distances away from home.The information presented on this website is provided to allow our patients to gain more knowledge about our center, our staff, and our services.

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