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Diabetes and Colorectal Cancer

Source: GreenWise, September 2004

Diabetes and Colorectal Cancer

People with diabetes may be three times more likely to develop colorectal cancer, a recent study shows. Almost 10,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 79 were tested for a marker in blood sugar, then were followed up six years later. Researchers found that those with diabetes or abnormal glucose metabolism were more likely to develop bowel cancer.

“The study shows that high (blood) sugar levels, even when (levels) are below those of diagnosed diabetes, could be linked to increased risk of bowel cancer,” reports lead researcher Kay-Tee Khaw, CBE. Professor Khaw believes that both diabetes and bowel cancer may share common predisposing factors. Studies have shown that a high fiber diet and regular exercise can help protect against both diseases. Furthermore, two-thirds of colorectal cancer cases can be prevented by changes in diet, including eating more fiber and less fat, scientists say.

Selected Sources
“Diabetes linked to Bowel Cancer,” BBC News 6/6/04
“Preliminary Communication: Glycated Hemoglobin, Diabetes, and Incident Colorectal Cancer in Men and Women: A Prospective Analysis from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk Study,” by Kay-Tee Khaw, CBE, et al., Cancer Epidem Biomarkers Prev., 6/04