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Home $ Wellness News $ Can diabetes increase my risk of cancer? How to reduce my risk of diabetes and know how to identify the foods that provide more sugar?

Can diabetes increase my risk of cancer? How to reduce my risk of diabetes and know how to identify the foods that provide more sugar?

In this month of October when Breast Cancer awareness and Diabetes are celebrated, we want to talk about the link between these two diseases.

The diabetes type 2 have been linked with certain types of cancer; including colon, postmenopausal breast, pancreatic, liver, endometrial, and bladder cancers and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Also, the rate of cancer survival could decrease in those cases where diabetes is present too. 

Normal cells develop into malignant cancer cells through a complex process, including initiation (DNA damage from a carcinogen or reactive molecule), promotion (stimulation of initiated cells’ growth), and progression (more aggressive growth with angiogenesis and metastasis).

Most cancers develop over at least 10–20 years. Numerous factors, including some related to metabolic states in overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, as well as dietary intake and physical activity, appear to promote or inhibit cancer development.

Some evidence* suggests that cancer cells may be particularly affected by hyperinsulinemia because of an increased concentration of insulin receptors, often in a form that is particularly mitogenic.

“Type 2 diabetes and obesity are both characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation, which increases production of free radicals that can disrupt insulin signaling and damage DNA. Ensuing genetic mutations can lead to cancer. 20,24 Adipose cells produce a range of pro-inflammatory cytokines (cell-to-cell signaling proteins), including interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)”

Scientific research published in the Journal of Nutrition (JN) shows that physical activity can act as primary prevention for cancer.  It reduces obesity and improves immune function.

These changes play an important role in reducing cancer risk—weight management is specifically helpful because studies have shown a link between excess weight and higher cancer risk.

You can find added sugar by looking at the ingredients in a product. Look for words ending in “ose,” such as fructose, dextrose, and maltose, and look for syrups and juices (see “The many names of added sugars”). For example:

  1. agave nectar
  2. brown sugar 
  3. cane crystals 
  4. cane sugar 
  5. corn sweetener 
  6. corn syrup 
  7. crystalline fructose 
  8. dextrose 
  9. evaporated cane juice 
  10. fructose 
  11. fruit juice concentrates
  12. Glucose
  13. High-fructose corn syrup honey 
  14. invert sugar 
  15. lactose 
  16. malt sugar 
  17. malt syrup 
  18. maltose 
  19. maple syrup 
  20. molasses 
  21. raw sugar
  22. sucrose


* Franciosi M, Lucisano G, Lapice E, Strippoli GF, Pellegrini F, Nicolucci A: Metformin therapy and risk of cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes: systematic review. PLoS One 8:e71583, 2013



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