People with Type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk of developing various types of cancer, said a new study.
The European Association for the Study of Diabetes researchers have found that that type 1 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of various cancer types including cancers of the stomach, liver, pancreas, endometrium, ovary and kidney, but a reduced risk of other cancer types, including prostate and breast cancer.
‘Type 1 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of various cancers such as stomach, liver, ovary and kidney.’
The study found that the overall cancer risk among men with type 1 diabetes was largely due to a 44% decreased incidence of prostate cancer, the most common non-skin cancer among men. When the authors excluded data for sex-specific cancer types (prostate, testis, breast, cervix, endometrium and ovary), excess cancer risk appeared in both men and women with type 1 diabetes (15% for men and 17% for women).
For specific cancer sites among people with type 1 diabetes, the study revealed increased risks of cancers of the stomach (23% for men, 78% for women); liver (two-fold among men, 55% for women); pancreas (53% for men, 25% for women), endometrium (42% ) and kidney (30% for men, 47% for women). Conversely, women with type 1 diabetes were 10% less likely to have a diagnosis of breast cancer, although the reasons for this are unclear.
The study also reported that cancer incidence was highest shortly after diagnosis of diabetes. Cancer incidence was substantially higher among both men (2.3 times increased risk) and women (2.3 times) with type 1 diabetes during the first year of follow-up compared with longer follow-up.
The authors suggested that their findings of an increased cancer risk among persons with diabetes may be due to a common mechanism such as elevated blood sugar levels occurring among both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. They said the findings do not support changes in policy for cancer screening for persons with type 1 diabetes.
Researchers recommended the lifestyle approaches to reduce cancer risk such as avoiding smoking, weight management and physical activity apply to persons with type 1 diabetes as for the general population. The study was published in the journal of Diabetologia