An autoimmune disease that affects people all over the world, type 1 diabetes can cause many other health problems. People with this disease are more likely to get cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, pregnancy complications, and other serious conditions. One recent study found that certain types of cancer can also be added to this list.
So, do type 1 diabetics have a higher risk of cancer?
Type 1 Diabetes and Cancer
A team of scientists examined nationwide diabetes registers from five countries: Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Scotland, and Australia. They published in these findings in the journal Diabetologia in 2016.
While examining these registers, the researchers found that people with type 1 diabetes are at a higher risk of several types of cancer. Compared to the general population, diabetics are at a higher risk of the following cancers:
- Stomach cancer;
- Pancreatic cancer;
- Liver cancer;
- Kidney cancer;
- Endometrium cancer.
The study also found that diabetic men were not at a higher overall risk, while women with type 1 diabetes were. However, diabetes patients had a lower risk of getting breast or prostate cancer than the average person.
Why Does this Happen?
Interestingly, cancer risk was the highest after the first year of diabetes diagnosis. For women, cancer risk was actually the same as for a healthy person after five years.
Although it has been established that diabetics have a higher risk of cancer, scientists are still not sure what causes it. Possible explanations are either anti-diabetic drugs or hypoglycemia.
If you’re living with type 1 diabetes, make note of this study and make sure you check yourself as often as you can. Cancer treatment has gone a long way and, if diagnosed in time, many cancers can be treated successfully.