Diabetes and Cancer – a Consensus Report

Epidemiological evidence suggests that cancer incidence is associated with diabetes as well as certain diabetes risk factors and diabetes treatments.

A consensus statement of experts assembled jointly by the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society reviews the state of science concerning:

  • the association between diabetes and cancer incidence or prognosis,
  • risk factors common to both diabetes and cancer,
  • possible biologic links between diabetes and cancer risk, and
  • whether diabetes treatments influence risk of cancer or cancer prognosis.

In this consensus report the authors explain that there is a growing body of epidemiologic evidence supporting a link between diabetes and the incidence and/or prognosis of some cancers. They also recognize that the association may not be causal, but that both diabetes and cancer may be associated because they share common predisposing risk factors such as obesity. However, they also look at a number of plausible biologic mechanisms accounting for a possible link, including effects of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and inflammation on cancer etiology and progression.

The consensus report also includes unanswered questions for future research.

For more information:
Giovannucci E, Harlan DM, Archer MC, Bergenstal RM, Gapstur SM, Habel LA, Pollak M, Regensteiner JG, Yee D. Diabetes and cancer: a consensus report. Diabetes Care. 2010 Jul;33(7):1674-85. doi: 10.2337/dc10-0666. [Article][PubMed][Download]

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