According to research in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, excess blood sugar means someone could be more likely both to develop cancer and also to die from it.
To reach their conclusion, scientists at Umea University in Sweden examined blood sugar levels in 274,126 men and 275,818 women from Norway, Austria and Sweden with an average age of 44.8, then followed them up a decade later to see how many had developed or died from cancer.
They write: "Significant increases in risk among men were found for incident and fatal cancer of the liver, gallbladder, and respiratory tract, for incident thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma, and for fatal rectal cancer. In women, significant associations were found for incident and fatal cancer of the pancreas, for incident urinary bladder cancer, and for fatal cancer of the uterine corpus, cervix uteri and stomach."
Dr Tanja Stock, the lead researcher, said: "The results suggest that, for women, the higher the level of sugar in the blood, the higher the risk. For men, there was still an association, but it was weaker."