Diabetes paves the way to cancer!

  • By Dr. Neha Agrawal

Diabetes mellitus is common across the world. So common, that people don’t take it seriously. It appears relatively benign on a day-to-day basis. It is just a sugar level that you notice on the outward. Controlling diabetes means a change in the lifestyle.

It is easy to pop in some pills to battle a disease. The difficulty lies in making long-term changes in our daily routine. We tend to get lazy and make excuses for not being able to follow a discipline in lifestyle. This happens more so with diabetes because we do not see an apparent damage that is being done by the high blood sugar. Unless the levels go really high or drop very low, there are no major symptoms that affect our activities from morning to evening.

What we are unaware of is that the disease is making some serious damage insidiously. It affects multiple organs and processes. These effects cannot be directly noticed but are continuously ongoing. By the time we wake up, a lot of injury has already occurred.

Here is some more bad news. A large number of scientists in all countries are working day and night to study the course of diabetes and bring new facts to light. Recent researches have established a new link – cancer. Yes, diabetes increases the risk for breast cancer and colon (intestinal) cancer.

A woman who has diabetes, is at 20 times more risk for developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer

A peculiar association of diabetes and breast cancer has come in the picture in the last few years. Factors contributing to these are many – sedentary lifestyle, overweight, rich food, etc. Another important contributor is hormonal imbalance due to diabetes. As a result of high sugar and high insulin in the body, twofold changes occur in the hormonal cycles which ultimately lead to excess estrogen circulation in blood. This, in turn, may act as a trigger for breast cancer. Breast cancer is relatively easy to diagnose. When detected in early stages, treatment has shown remarkable affects.

Colon cancer

Cancer of the intestine is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Scientists are still working on finding the exact cause but a clear relationship between diabetes and colon cancer has been proven. Patients suffering from high blood sugar have a higher risk of developing intestinal cancer than those with normal blood sugar.

Colon cancer is often seen to be fatal and rate of recurrence is quite high.

Worldwide several researches have shown a strong connection between diabetes mellitus and occurrence of breast and colon cancer.


  1. If you have normal blood sugar levels, please put in your best effort to maintain the same.
  2. If you are at risk for diabetes because of significant medical history, take extra care and precaution to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. This can be done by regular and adequate exercise, along with the balanced food options.
  3. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, work on your lifestyle to keep the sugar levels in control. Regular check-ups and frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels are a must.
  4. If you are a diabetic, please go for periodical screening of related health conditions. Specific to the topic at hand, please get regular breast examinations. Physician recommended and supervised mammograms and colonoscopies would be extremely helpful.

Eyes wide open? Now, will you pay attention to all the restrictions advised by your doctor? Please do.

Get that lifestyle which is recommended. Compromise on your work and cravings; focus on exercise and eating healthy. Diabetes is not a killer if managed effectively. Don’t let cancer get a hold on you.