by Karyn Michelle Wofford
According to numerous studies, diabetics, both type 1 and 2, are at higher risk for cancer than the average person. Certain cancers like liver, pancreas, and endometrial are twice as likely to occur in diabetics, says WebMD. Diabetics experience a 20% to 50% risk increase with breast, colorectal and bladder cancers as well.
No studies I have reviewed will conclusively state that why there is such an increase of risk, but after doing my own research, I have some theories, based off evidence of course.
The same things that are known to be risk factors for diabetes are also risk factors for cancer, which would be a pretty solid reason type 2 diabetics may see a higher rate of cancer. Inactivity leads to an accumulation of toxins and decreased immune function. With the immune system impaired, potentially cancerous cells aren’t kept at bay. Poor diets are often loaded with carcinogenic, toxin filled foods that release free radicals which damage cells, causing cancer. The immune system can only keep up for so long and eventually can’t kill all of the damaged cells. To be strong and healthy, the immune system needs healthy foods. Cancer.gov says obesity is strongly believed to cause many types of cancer, partially because fat gives off an excess of certain hormones and proteins. Obesity also promotes inflammation, which promotes cancer.
An excess amount of insulin in the blood has been linked to cancer. This could be from natural cell production or insulin injections.The American Society of Clinical Oncology has stated that women with excess insulin in their systems have a greater chance of breast cancer recurrence as well as a higher chance dying from the disease. Cancer.gov goes on further to say that there is indication insulin contributes to tumor growth.
Diabetics tend to take lots of meds, and we do not know the effects of all of them. Risk comes with many medications and there is a possibility one of those risks might be cancer. Don’t go dumping your pills down the toilet! However you should consider speaking with your doctor about all the natural options before popping pills. Exercise and diet can be difficult, but it can fix a lot.
Yeast infections are common among diabetics whether symptoms are experienced or not. Excess sugar in the blood allows yeast to thrive and create byproduct toxins that weaken the immune system. When the immune system is weak, cancer cells multiply.
This one is controversial. Many organizations swear up and down that sugar does not feed cancer. However, cancer cells do need sugar for energy and replication…but so do all of our cells. Let’s just say that even if sugar doesn’t feed cancer, it does over work the pancreas and causes inflammation, which leads to obesity which has been known to cause cancer. Is your mind blown yet?
Lets state some hard facts just to drive the point home. A Harvard study discovered that a high glycemic diet triples a woman’s chance of developing colorectal cancer and increases a man’s risk by 32%. What makes up a large part of a high glycemic diet? Sugar.
Just a side note, I don’t think artificial sweeteners are innocent when it comes to diabetes and cancer either.
What You Can Do
Enough with the depressing stuff, there are things you can do to help prevent cancer.
- Eat Healthy — Healthy, good food not only keeps you from tossing cancer causing chemicals and toxins into your body, they remove toxins that are already there. Foods high in antioxidants, like blueberries and green tea ( Matcha tea is rich in antioxidants and can be purchased at The Republic of Tea online) actually repair free radical damaged cells. Eating a mainly plant based diet will greatly help you keep damaging substances out of your body.
- Exercise — Exercise helps prevent cancer causing obesity and also promotes detoxification by stimulating the lymphatic system. Sweating is also a great way to rid the body of toxins. Getting moving fights insulin resistance and improves circulation which greatly contributes to overall wellbeing.
- Metformin — I am not a huge promoter of medicine, but metformin has changed my life. I am type 1 diabetic and was developing insulin resistance. My blood sugar is much easier to control and I take half the insulin I used to. Metformin has been shown to decrease cancer risk among diabetics. It is worth talking with your doctor about it.
- Cancer Screening- Regularly get screened for cancer. Early detection can make all of the difference in the world. It is great for peace of mind too!
- Fight for Contro l– Controlling glucose levels is much easier said than done, I know. Just fight the best you can and always look for new things and opportunities that may improve your health. It’s a battle but it is worth fighting.
- Detox — I am a detox believer. Now I am not a juice cleanse kind of detoxer. Detoxing, to me, is a fresh, produce filled diet with lots of lemon water. This method will remove toxins and it’s much safer for us and non diabetics as well.
I want to find out more about the cancer diabetes connection and hope research continues so we can get a better understanding and come up with ways to prevent this. However, I am convinced that we can greatly alter our own outcome with healthy living strategies.