medwireNews: Having type 2 diabetes increases a person’s risk for a cancer being already metastatic at the point of diagnosis, shows an EPIC analysis.
The association was seen for non-screened cancers. By contrast, breast and colorectal cancers were no more likely to be metastatic at diagnosis in people with type 2 diabetes than in those without.
Anna Jansana (International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France) reported the findings in a poster presentation at the 13th European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
“Our results underline the importance of paying particular attention to patients with pre-existing diseases of the heart, blood vessels or metabolism, such as type 2 diabetes, so that signs of cancer can be identified at an earlier stage when it is more likely to be treated successfully,” she said in a press release.
The study involved 11,945 EPIC (European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition) participants who were aged 35–69 years and free from type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at enrollment in 1992–1998 but were diagnosed with cancer by 2012. Of these cancers, 6758 were localized and 3608 were metastatic.
In total, 848 people had already developed type 2 diabetes prior to their cancer diagnosis, and 570 had developed cardiovascular disease, with 161 having both conditions. Neither condition was significantly associated with the likelihood of having any metastatic cancer or metastatic breast or colorectal cancer – two routinely screened cancers in the cohort.
Cardiovascular disease was also not associated with non-screened cancers. However, having type 2 diabetes was associated with a significant 26% increase in the likelihood of receiving a metastatic non-screened cancer diagnosis compared with having neither type 2 diabetes nor cardiovascular disease.
The researchers noted the need to optimize the participation of people with type 2 diabetes in cancer screening programs, and also called for “[g]reater coordination between primary care and cancer diagnosis specialists.”
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