Diabetes mellitus has been found to increase the risk of developing colonThe large intestine.cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. by 38% with male diabetics having a 20% greater chance of developing rectalRelating to the rectum, the lowest part of the bowel leading to the anus. cancer.
The researchers of the study, published today in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, are unsure as to what is the cause of the link between diabetesA disorder caused by insufficient or absent production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas, or because the tissues are resistant to the effects. and the increased cancer risk. It has been suggested that as diabetics have high insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. levels and high levels of growth factors these may help cancer cells to grow and spread to other parts of the body although as yet, there is no proof for this.
Doctors screeningA way to identify people who may have a certain condition, among a group of people who may or may not seem to for colorectal cancer are advised to highlight the risk in obese patients and those who smoke but diabetes may now have to be included. The study took into account these risk factors as well as levels of physical activity. This study appears to support previous research that diabetes patients who are regular smokers have the highest risk of developing colon cancer.