As much as 1 in 5 cancer patients have diabetes. Diabetes predisposes to certain types of cancer. There are certain common risk factors which are common for both diabetes (type2) and cancer. The exact relationship between the two is not well defined and the mechanism is unknown. The common risk factors for both diabetes and cancer are
- Old age
- Increased BMI (obesity)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Unhealthy diet
Overweight can predispose to diabetes as well as esophageal, bowel, uterine and renal cancers. Risk of stomach and cervical cancers can be increased by Diabetes (Type1). The implications of having both cancer and diabetes can lead to poor therapy outcomes with higher chances of infection and prolonged healing of wounds. The risk of cancer can be reduced by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, nutritious diet, adequate physical activity and avoiding other risk factors like tobacco and excess alcohol consumption. Cancer patients have 6 times higher incidence of Diabetes than non cancer patients. Some treatment modalities like radiation in some particular body parts and immunotherapy may destroy pancreatic cells and make the person susceptible to diabetes. Steroids often used in prevention of cancer chemotherapy nausea can derange blood sugar levels.