Dec 13, 2012
By Jane Brown
A link is being made between breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. Knowing that women with diabetes have a higher risk of postmenopausal breast cancer than those without diabetes, Toronto researchers set out to explore whether breast cancer survivors are more likely to develop diabetes. Lead Author Doctor Lorraine Lipscombe says while the increase in diabetes is modest in women who’ve survived breast cancer, the phenomenon may be more about the diseases sharing some risk factors. “One important message is because of the fact that the association was not that strong, I really believe it’s not likely an issue for all breast cancer patients but rather for certain women who have other risk factors for diabetes. I think we need to confirm that in other studies and I think that we need to take a closer look at other risk factors.” Lipscombe says the increased risk for diabetes also varied depending on whether women had chemotherapy for their breast cancer. The study suggests doctors treating women with breast cancer should be alert to the possibility, and urge their patients to take steps to lower their risk where needed.
The study was conducted by researchers from Women’s College Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, both based in Toronto.