Type 2 diabetes A Risk Factor For Blood Cancers

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A meta-analysis led by researchers at the Miriam Hospital and published in the journal Blood found that people with type 2 diabetes have an astonishing increased risk of developing hematologic malignancies including subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, some leukemias, and myeloma.

These findings add to a small but growing database that associates adult onset type 2 diabetes with the development of some cancers.

Type 2 diabetes has previously been associated with pancreatic cancer and liver cancer, among others, but this is among the first meta-studies to make an association with the development of hematologic malignancies.

"I think when most people think about diabetes-related illnesses, they think of heart disease or kidney failure, but not necessarily cancer," lead author and hematologist/oncologist Jorge Castillo, M.D. "But when you consider that more than 19 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes not to mention the millions more who are either undiagnosed or will be diagnosed in the future a 20 percent increased risk of blood cancer is quite significant."

The meta-analysis included a look at 26 published research articles on the association between hematologic cancer incidence and type 2 diabetes, involving over 17,000 cases worldwide.

Specifically, they found increased incidence of peripheral T-cell lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma among patients with type-2 diabetes, but no association with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"It's important to remember that type 2 diabetes can, to some degree, be prevented and controlled through lifestyle modification, such as diet and exercise," Castillo said. "So by preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, we could also prevent blood cancer."

Unfortunately, researchers have not identified the mechanism that associates type-2 diabetes with blood cancers and say that additional research is required to pinpoint that link.

Source: Medical News Today

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