ZocdocAnswersDoes type 1 diabetes make you predisposed to cancer?

Question

Does type 1 diabetes make you predisposed to cancer?

I've read about a relationship between insulin and tumor growth.

Answer

There is some evidence suggesting that patients who have diabetes are at higher risk of developing certain types of cancer. These data are stronger for patients with type 2 diabetes rather than type 1 diabetes. We do not entirely understand why there is this association between diabetes and higher risk of cancer. It may be that there is something about the hormonal environment inside the body produced by diabetes that predisposes to cancer, however it is also likely that much of the risk from cancer in diabetics come from other factors, such as obesity, old age, etc. As most diabetics suffer from other conditions associated with cancer (such as obesity) and these factors are directly related to cancer risk this may be all that is going on. Nevertheless, most of this data, as I said, is in type 2 diabetes, and there is no clear association between type 1 diabetes and cancer. Type 1 diabetes are predisposed to other medical problems. Of course, these include the complications of the diabetes itself. But they are also at higher risk of developing problems with other glands in the body, such as the thyroid gland, as well as autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you are diabetic, you should discuss these issues with your endocrinologist. If you are not diabetic, remember at your annual physical to ask your doctor how to prevent developing diabetes.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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