Type 2 diabetes and cancer risk: real-world data


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study has identified a significantly increased risk for cancers among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), with its authors suggesting that strategies for cancer-specific screening and prevention among patients with T2D should be established in clinical practice. 

Researchers examined data on 410,191 patients with T2D from the Shanghai Hospital Link database in China, who were identified from July 2013 to December 2016 and followed-up for cancer incidence until December 2017.

Overall, 8,485 cases of cancer were identified. The researchers found men and women with diabetes had a 34 per cent and 62 per cent higher risks of developing cancer than men and women in the general population, respectively.

Among men, the risk of cancer of the prostate, skin, thyroid, kidney, liver, pancreas, lung, colorectum and stomach, and leukaemia and lymphoma, was increased significantly, while there was a decrease in the risk of oesophageal cancer.

In women, there were significantly greater risks of lymphoma, leukaemia and cancer of the nasopharynx, liver, oesophagus, thyroid, lung, pancreas, uterus, colorectum, breast, cervix and stomach, and a decreased risk of gallbladder cancer. 

Writing in the Journal of Diabetes, the authors said future studies are needed to distinguish the effects of T2D from those of common risk factors.