How does diabetes affect my risk of developing cancer?


We do not think that there is a correlation between diabetes and colon cancer formation, so I would recommend having your first colonoscopy at age 50.

Diabetic patients who maintain excellent control of their diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of developing cancer. However, diabetes that is not well controlled has been found to be a risk factor for cancer. Uncontrolled diabetes is known to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as 50 percent. Diabetes has also been linked to a 43 percent increase in the relative risk of colon cancer and an 11 percent increase in the relative risk of rectal cancer. Studies have also suggested that uncontrolled diabetes may also be associated with an increased risk of cancers of the breast, liver, kidney and uterus.

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.