Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of colorectal cancer

Diabetes increases the risk for many health complications. Now, a new study from American Cancer Society researchers has shown that type 2 diabetes may predispose individuals to colorectal cancer.

The findings of the study, which were published in the journal Gastroenterology, indicate that men with type 2 diabetes are at the highest risk for developing colorectal cancer. Researchers said that hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, which are particularly pronounced during the early stages of diabetes, may contribute to the development of cancer. However, common diabetes treatments may also be involved.

"While our study supports an association of type 2 diabetes with colorectal cancer incidence among men, our results also suggest that insulin use is associated with a slight risk of colorectal cancer," said Peter Campbell, who led the study. "Prevention strategies should emphasize adherence to guidelines intended for the general population such as smoking cessation, weight management, exercise and regular early detection exams."

Campbell added that given the rising rates of obesity and diabetes, it may be even more important to follow these guidelines. The number of people with type 2 diabetes is expected to more than double between 2000 and 2030.

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