How can lowering my blood sugar affect my risk of colon cancer?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Let's suppose you've been working harder than a Broadway hoofer to transform your high blood sugar into low blood sugar -- and you've done it (insert ovation)! Twelve years from now, not only will type 2 diabetes be a complete stranger in your life, but -- talk about terrific twofers -- so will colon cancer.

That's the upshot of a striking recent study that chased down a fuzzy link between diabetes and colon cancer. Women who started out the 12-year project with elevated blood sugar levels were twice (yep, twice) as likely to have colon cancer a dozen years later as women who started with healthy blood sugar levels.

To keep blood sugar steady as you go, eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans, and lay off sugary drinks and snacks. Also, kick anything with saturated or trans fats to the curb. Getting plenty of sleep and finding a stress-relief technique that you love doing, such as meditation or yoga, is also helpful.

One more characteristic of people who avoid colon cancer: They're more likely to be physically active -- not hard-core gym rats, just active. The same goes for people who avoid close encounters with type 2 diabetes.

It’s time for our daily walk. Grab your jacket and do the same.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.