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Link between diabetes, pancreatic cancer found

Date:
March 14, 2014
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
There is an association between pancreatic cancer and diabetes, new research indicates. While the numbers of pancreatic cancer in the population are relatively low, the study suggests a screening program should be considered. "The priority on screening should be on patients with new-onset diabetes but can later be expanded to long-standing diabetic patients," concluded the lead author.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have shown that there is an association between pancreatic cancer and diabetes.

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In a new study published today in Annals of Surgical Oncology, clinicians worked with mathematicians to review data from 1973 to 2013 to conclude there was a time-dependent link between being diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

A review of 88 international studies to date, is the largest analysis on the topic published.

Dr Mehrdad Nikfarjam, liver, pancreas and biliary specialist from the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne said pancreatic cancer was often diagnosed when at an advanced, incurable stage.

"This is an important paper that highlights for doctors and in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes without an obvious cause, a diagnosis of underlying pancreatic cancer should be considered," he said.

"The study revealed the risk of pancreatic cancer was greatest after the diagnosis of diabetes but remained elevated long after the diagnosis. The presence of diabetes remains a modest risk factor for the development of a cancer later in life."

While the numbers of pancreatic cancer in the population are relatively low, the study suggests a screening program should be considered.

"The priority on screening should be on patients with new-onset diabetes but can later be expanded to long-standing diabetic patients," said Dr Nikfarjam.

"New onset diabetes is more prevalent in people over the age of 55. It may be important to consider screening all newly diagnosed diabetics for pancreatic cancer, particularly those without significant risk factors for developing diabetes in the first place."

The study's abstract can be found at: http://www.annsurgoncol.org/journals/abstract.html?v=0&j=10434&i=-1&a=3625_10.1245_s10434-014-3625-6&doi=


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Mehrdad Nikfarjam et al. Association of Diabetes Mellitus and Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: A Meta-Analysis of 88 Studies. Annals of Surgical Oncology, March 2014

Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Link between diabetes, pancreatic cancer found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314111523.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2014, March 14). Link between diabetes, pancreatic cancer found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314111523.htm
University of Melbourne. "Link between diabetes, pancreatic cancer found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314111523.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

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