Diabetes is a disease, in which there is a defect in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.
Diabetes is of two types- TYPE I—Insulin deficiency, resulting in Hyperglycemia.
TYPE 2—It is associated with liver disorders like liver enzymes,
Fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and acute liver failure.
The patients who have diabetes are at a higher risk of getting cancers like Pancreatic, Liver, Breast, Gastric and Female Reproductive Cancers. Both diabetes and cancer are prevalent diseases in the world. In recent times people dying of cancer has increased among those who have diabetes than those without diabetes. Detecting cancer at an early and properly treating diabetic patients can improve the patients’ condition.
TYPES OF CANCERS IN DIABETIC PATIENTS:
The highest risk in a diabetic patient is liver cancer. This risk is present in both men and women.
Liver steatosis, hepatitis and cirrhosis are common in diabetic patients and are risk factors for Hepatocellular Carcinomas (HCC ).
The patients who have type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk of developing HCC, the most common type of liver cancer.
The medicines diabetes patients take to control their blood sugar are a risk of getting liver cancer.
a)The treatment is FIRST LINE TREATMENT—a drug known as METFORMIN is given.
b) SECOND LINE TREATMENT: Insulin and Sulfonylureas are given.
c) THIRD LINE TREATMENT: Glitazones are given.
- Type 2 diabetes is the risk factor for PANCREATIC Cancer.
- Pancreatic Cancer can also cause diabetes.
- Almost half of the patients with pancreatic cancer have high blood sugar levels.
- This cancer develops when cancerous cells grow, divide and spread in the pancreas.
- The 6-inch long, spongy tube, located in the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach is the pancreas.
- Most of the pancreatic cancers are not diagnosed early as the symptoms are only back pain and indigestion.
- So it is better to check for pancreatic cancer first, for those who are above 50 years.
- Doctors conduct a few tests for it like CT and MRI scans, only on those patients who have diabetes as its costly and try to diagnose pancreatic cancer.
- Those people who have diabetes must often check the blood sugar levels, eat right, be active and take proper medicines to avoid major problems from occurring.
- Sometimes after surgery automatically, diabetes becomes normal.
FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE CANCERS
If a patient has diabetes for a long time, it affects the blood vessels and nerves of the female genitals and leads to cancer.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease and a risk factor for many Endometrial, Cervical, Ovarian and Vulvar Cancers in women. It is mainly on account of insulin resistance, chronic inflammation and high ovarian steroid hormones.
Obesity is a common factor of diabetes, which causes hormonal imbalance in the body, and that causes endometrial cancer.
Type 2 diabetes in women leads to breast cancer and mainly among women in their postmenopausal period. Breast cancer is mostly among well do families because of their lifestyle and socioeconomic status, sedentary life diet high in carbohydrates, sugars and consumption of animal fats.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common gynaecological cancers in women globally, and those having diabetes are prone to it. Ovarian cancer is diagnosed among women 65 years and who are already in the menopause stage.
DIABETES-DNA DAMAGE and CANCER
DNA is a chemical found in the nucleus cells that makes up chromosomes. It is important for all cells and organisms. An organism in a human body can do nothing without a DNA.
Diabetes can cause DNA damage, and it causes mutations, cancer, free fatty acids, high glucose, and hypoglycemia.
- Patients with type 2 diabetes have increased levels of DNA damage.
- DNA damage leads to various types of mutations to cause cancer cells changes and increase cancer risk.
- If a person lives long enough, at least one of his cells will gather a set of mutations sufficient for cancer to develop.
- DNA can also be a biological link between diabetes and cancer.
- If DNA damage occurs in a gene, errors build up in other genes, and cancer occurs.
- Obesity can cause DNA damage and lead to cancer.
- Ultraviolet and other types of radiation can damage DNA.
DIABETES AND CANCER TREATMENT AND DIET
8% TO 18% of cancer patients have diabetes, a chronic condition where it becomes difficult to regulate blood sugar levels. When cancer sets in, diabetes treatment takes backstage. But managing blood sugar levels can help the patient’s health to improve faster.
- Radiation therapy, steroids and a few types of chemotherapy can play upon the blood sugar levels.
- If blood sugar levels are not controlled, the side effects of chemotherapy can lead to dehydration and affect other organs also.
- So during treatment, blood sugar levels must be controlled to stay hydrated and to feel better.
- Type 2 Diabetes can also be managed with a healthy DIET.
- A well-balanced diet throughout the day like eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and eating low in fat and adequate calories helps the blood sugar levels under control.
- If the patient has energy light, exercise also helps, moderate to vigorous exercise as days go by helps.
- Alcohol is also high in calories and sugar and can damage the cells, which lead to cancer. So women can have one drink per day and men two drinks per day.
- During and after cancer treatment, blood sugar levels must be under control.
AWARENESS THAT DIABETES CAN LEAD TO CANCER
Many people urban or living in rural areas, educated or uneducated are not aware of the symptoms, risk factors and lifestyle choices are commonly associated with diabetes and can also lead to cancer. In future, these realities of the dangerous diseases must be made known to people at the earliest, so that if diagnosed, can be treated early for better living.