New study helps explain higher rates of breast cancer in type 2 diabetes patients

There is a well recognized link between type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Numerous studies have shown that diabetics are much more likely to be diagnosed with a tumor. However, a new study suggests that this may not be because diabetics actually develop cancer at higher rates.

A team of researchers from the University of Alberta showed that women with type 2 diabetes are 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in the three months following their diabetes diagnosis. However, after this three-month window, diabetic women are diagnosed with breast cancer at the same rate as other women.

The team concluded that this likely means that women with type 2 diabetes have higher rates of breast cancer simply because they tend to be put through more general health testing after they have been identified as having diabetes. This turns up more tumors that may go unnoticed in healthy women.

However, this does not rule out the possibility that factors associated with type 2 diabetes also contribute to the development of breast cancer. The researchers pointed out that obesity is a risk factor for both condition. It may be that women diagnosed with diabetes and breast cancer may have more of these complicating issues.

Either way, the findings suggest that it is important for women with type 2 diabetes to take care of their health and do all they can to avoid health complications. Living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body weight may be among the most important thing a person can do, since obesity is linked to both cancer and diabetes. A nutritious diet and plenty of exercise may lead to a number of health benefits.