Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Survivors of breast cancer more likely to develop diabetes, and should be screened more closely, study shows

Date:
December 12, 2012
Source:
Diabetologia
Summary:
A major new study shows that post-menopausal survivors of breast cancer are more likely to develop diabetes than controls without breast cancer.

A major new study shows that post-menopausal survivors of breast cancer are more likely to develop diabetes than controls without breast cancer. Furthermore, the relationship between breast cancer and diabetes varies depending on whether a breast cancer survivor has undergone chemotherapy. The study is the largest to explore this relationship so far, and is published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

Related Articles


An association between diabetes and cancer is becoming increasingly recognised. For instance, women with diabetes have an estimated 20% higher risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. As breast cancer survival rates continue to improve, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the long-term health consequences for survivors as they age. However, to date little research has been carried out on the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer survivors developing diabetes.

In this population-based study, Dr Lorraine Lipscombe (Women's College Hospital, Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada) and colleagues used population-based data from Ontario, Canada to compare the incidence of diabetes among women aged 55 years or older with breast cancer, from 1996 to 2008, with that of age-matched women without breast cancer. They further explored this relationship based on whether the patient had undergone chemotherapy.

They found that, of 24,976 breast cancer survivors and 124,880 controls, 9.7% developed diabetes over a mean follow-up of 5.8 years. The risk of diabetes among breast cancer survivors compared with women without breast cancer began to increase two years after diagnosis, with a 7% increased risk that rose to 21% after 10 years. Among those who received adjuvant chemotherapy (4,404 patients) almost the opposite relationship was found: risk was highest in the first two years after diagnosis (a 24% increased risk compared with controls) and then declined to an 8% increased risk after 10 years.

Dr Lipscombe says: "It is possible that chemotherapy treatment may bring out diabetes earlier in susceptible women. Increased weight gain has been noted in the setting for adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, which may be a factor in the increased risk of diabetes in women receiving treatment. Oestrogen suppression as a result of chemotherapy may also promote diabetes; however this may have been less of a factor in this study where most women were already post-menopausal."

Other factors that may play a part for women with chemotherapy are the glucocorticoid drugs used to treat nausea in chemotherapy, known to cause spikes in blood sugar (acute hyperglycaemia), and the fact that women undergoing chemotherapy could be monitored more closely and thus are more likely to have diabetes detected. A reason that risk decreased in the chemotherapy group over time could be that many of the at-risk women developed diabetes in the first two years, and were thus no longer followed up. In addition, the effects of glucocorticoids are known to wear off over time.

The researchers are unsure why the breast cancer survivors who did not receive chemotherapy saw their risk of diabetes increase compared with control women without cancer. "There is, however, evidence of an association between diabetes and cancer, which may be due to risk factors common to both conditions," says Dr Lipscombe. "One such risk factor is insulin resistance, which predisposes to both diabetes and many types of cancer -- initially insulin resistance is associated with high insulin levels and there is evidence that high circulating insulin may increase the risk of cancer. However, diabetes only occurs many years later when insulin levels start to decline -- therefore it is possible that cancer risk occurs much earlier than diabetes in insulin-resistant individuals, when insulin levels are high."*

"These findings support a need for closer monitoring of diabetes among breast cancer survivors," concludes Dr Lipscombe.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Diabetologia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. L. Lipscombe, W. W. Chan, L. Yun, P. C. Austin, G. M. Anderson, P. A. Rochon. Incidence of diabetes among postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. Diabetologia, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s00125-012-2793-9

Cite This Page:

Diabetologia. "Survivors of breast cancer more likely to develop diabetes, and should be screened more closely, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205731.htm>.
Diabetologia. (2012, December 12). Survivors of breast cancer more likely to develop diabetes, and should be screened more closely, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205731.htm
Diabetologia. "Survivors of breast cancer more likely to develop diabetes, and should be screened more closely, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205731.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins