According to an international study people who have diabetes are at a higher risk to develop colon cancer. However the reasons for the connection between the two and how to prevent the cancer are still not clear. The research team was headed by Hiroki Yuhara and they were at the University of California, Berkeley. The research team combined the results of 14 international studies and concluded that people with diabetes at 38% higher risk of developing colon cancer than those who did not have diabetes. According to the findings of the research that were published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology there is a 20% higher risk of developing rectal cancer in men. Hiroki Yuhara and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley wrote in the report “These data suggest that diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor for colon and rectal cancer.”
The findings do not show that diabetes is directly linked to colon cancer is people. The results of the study have been derived from observational studies which showed that people who had diabetes were at a higher risk of developing colon cancer at any stage. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard School of Public Health said “I think we can make the statement that diabetes is consistently associated with colorectal cancer.” In an email to Reuters he also said that it is a little difficult to establish and consider the cause and effect aspect because diabetes is a very complex disease. According to him some aspect of diabetes contributes to the development of colon cancer but is it still not certain which aspect is it. One theory that can explain this is that hormones are involved. People who have diabetes have high level of insulin which is the blood sugar regulating hormone.
They also have high levels of related hormones which are called insulin-like growth factors. These hormones cause the growth of cells and make them spread these cells may include cancer cells. Researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) in a study published last year found that among 184,000 aged residents of US who were followed for 15 years, men who had diabetes type 2 almost 25% were more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than men who did not have type-2 diabetes. In women no such relation between diabetes and colon cancer was observed. Giovannucci has recommended people to maintain a healthy weight and a regular exercise routine as for now.