Healthy Living

How Diabetes Can Elevate The Risk Of Cancer

It’s not uncommon for diseases and illnesses to be linked to one another. For example, getting a fever might be a sign of infectious diseases such as malaria, common cold or even HIV. Clinical depression on the other hand, can be linked to other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, panic disorder and social phobia. In some cases, it may even lead to bipolar disorder.

And so when a newly emerged study revealed that diabetes can elevate the risk of cancer metastasis, researchers weren’t at all surprised. For one thing, this just validates the notion that diabetes may help spread cancer.

In reality, diabetes being linked to other diseases isn’t new at all. As one of the most common conditions that doctors from all over the world diagnose, it’s been known to be directly connected to other diseases. This includes the ever-dreaded heart disease, problems with eye sight and an array of other cardiovascular diseases.

And now that a new study validates the idea of diabetes being connected to cancer, the news come as both good and bad to the researchers. It’s good because finding another link can be seen as another step closer to understanding what makes cancer tick and how it can be cured, and bad because people with diabetes have one more deadly disease added on to the list.

“Cancer and diabetes are two of the worst health problems in developed countries, and there’s a link between the two. For cancer, half of the story is still genetics. It’s only recently we realized there is another half that we missed, which is the microenvironment,” study author Prof. Mingming Wu said.

Basically, the research explains that how cancer will grow and spread is highly dependent on the microenvironment where it is, and the elevated blood sugar in people with diabetes can help it move around more easily. This happens through a process called “glycation,” which is the change that happens around collagen fibers caused by diabetes.

The researchers believe more work needs to be done. Moving forward, the researchers aim to differentiate the mechanical and chemical impact of glycation in the metastasis process, which is when the tumor cells start spreading.