Surgery for cancer may be dangerous for type 2 diabetics
A study published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Diabetes Care
has revealed that type 2 diabetes patients who undergo cancer surgery are more likely to die after the operation than cancer patients without diabetes.
The researchers found that diabetics who have been newly diagnosed with colorectal or esophageal tumors have a 50 percent greater risk of post-operative death. An estimated 20 million Americans - comprising about 7 percent of the U.S. population - have diabetes, and health experts expect the number to grow.
Lead author Hsin-Chieh Yeh of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that when cancer is diagnosed, diabetes management tends to be forgotten.
"Diabetic patients, their oncologists and their surgeons should be aware of the increased risk when they have cancer surgery," said Yeh. "The care of diabetes before, during and after surgery is very important. It should be part of the preoperative discussion."
Potential reasons for this increased risk include infection and cardiovascular compromise. Yeh states that more research will be needed to conclude whether better diabetes management increases the post-operative survival rate of cancer patients.