Your Guide To Doctors, Health Information, and Better Health!
Your Health Magazine Logo
The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Nabil Andrawis, MD
Colon Cancer -" A Major Problem For Diabetics
Burke Internal Medicine, Inc.
. http://www.burkeinternalmed.com

Colon Cancer -" A Major Problem For Diabetics

More Likely To Recur and Be Fatal
Leading cancer experts have concluded that diabetics with colon cancer are more likely to have their cancer come back after surgery and are also more likely to die of this disease than people without diabetes. They reported their findings after studying outcomes in more than 3,500 patients with colon cancer.
Diabetes Increases Risk Of Developing Colon Cancer
It has been known that diabetes increases a persons risk of developing colon cancer by about 30-40%. But it has not been certain how the diabetes affects their chances of surviving the disease.
A study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology studied patients who had been entered into a national trial of chemotherapy for colon cancer. The trial began in 1988 and enrolled 3,759 patients.
All the patients had either stage II or III colon cancer and all had surgery to remove the cancer. They were then placed on one of four different chemotherapy regimens to determine which one was superior. At the end of the study there was no difference in recurrence rate or survival among the four groups.
Of the patients, 287 were diabetic. Because there was no difference among the four groups, the researchers could put them all together to compare the outcomes of diabetic patients with the others.
Outcomes Poorer In Patients With Diabetes
By the end of five years, it was apparent that diabetics were experiencing less favorable outcomes than non-diabetics. More had their cancer return and more had died. These differences became even greater at the end of 10 years. Overall, diabetics had a 21% higher chance of recurrence and a 42% higher chance of death.
Some reasons for the poorer outcomes could be explained by the fact that people with diabetes were more likely to have other problems, such as heart disease and kidney disease. This could explain, in part, the higher death rate. But it couldnt explain the higher recurrence rate.

High Insulin Levels May Be a Culprit
One possible reason for the poorer results might be high insulin levels in the patients with diabetes. Although diabetes is thought of as a disease in which insulin is lacking, diabetics often have high levels of insulin in their blood. They just cant use it properly. Many laboratory studies have shown that insulin can promote cancer growth. Non-diabetic women with breast cancer who have high insulin levels because of obesity are more likely to see their cancer come back after surgery.
All this has led researchers to conclude that diabetics with colon cancer were more likely than non-diabetics to have a recurrence and die.
But, they have also pointed out that the diabetics tolerated their chemotherapy well “and should not be treated differently than those without diabetes.” There is still need for more work to find out why diabetics with colon cancer are prone to poorer outcomes.
You should consult with your medical doctor for more information regarding this issue.
MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130