Is There A Link Between Diabetes And Cancer?

Is There A Link Between Diabetes And Cancer?

Category : Diabetes And Cancer

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Growing evidence  suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for developing certain cancers, including liver, pancreatic, endometrial, colorectal, breast and bladder.

Cancers of the liver, pancreas, and endometrium (uterus lining) are twice as likely to occur in people with diabetes as those without the disease, while the link between colon, rectal, breast, and bladder cancers and diabetes is only half as strong and no increased risk of lung cancer has been observed in people with diabetes.

Other cancers either aren’t associated with diabetes or there isn’t enough evidence to say one way or the other. One exception to the rule is prostate cancer; the data suggest that diabetes may protect against prostate cancer, perhaps because it’s associated with lower testosterone levels.

While more research is needed to better understand the complex relationship between diabetes and cancer, we do know that a dual diagnosis is relatively common. It’s estimated that as many as one in five cancer patients has diabetes as well.

Researchers suggest that the link between the two diseases may be partly due to shared risk factors, including aging, overweight and obesity(mainly type 2 diabetes), unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking.

Lifestyle choices can influence risk of both diabetes and cancer. Many
strategies that decrease risk of cancer also promote control of diabetes.

Maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and being physically active are lifestyle measures that can reduce the risks of both diseases.

Dietary recommendations to reduce cancer risk focus on predominantly plant-based diets emphasizing a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.


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The three most obvious means by which diabetes could influence the development and spread of cancer are insulin, blood glucose, and inflammation.

Recent studies have failed to find a connection between insulin taken as a medication and cancer. However, some research suggests that when the body itself makes too much insulin, the risk for cancer goes up.

People with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, which drives up the body’s production of insulin, sometimes for years, while the disease progresses.

Researchers found a link between insulin resistance and cancer risk, in which high levels of insulin—associated with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes—may stimulate tumor cell proliferation and growth. Researchers also pointed to the role of high body fat, or obesity, in causing an insulin resistant state.

Experts now theorize that high insulin levels increase the growth of cancer cells, which in turn stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. The vessels then provide nourishment to cancerous tumors.

Overweight people also have lower levels of adiponectin, a hormone secreted by adipose tissue (fat), than lean people, which may further accelerate cancer growth.

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Both diabetes and cancer are thought to have an inflammatory cause at the cellular level. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to chronic inflammation, which may cause the types of changes in cells that can increase the risk of cancer.

People with diabetes, as well as those who are obese, show signs of chronic inflammation, a state defined by elevated levels of certain molecules in the blood such as C-reactive protein. Some of these same molecules have been linked to certain types of cancer, suggesting that inflammation may connect diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

The pill used most frequently throughout the world for blood sugar lowering is metformin , which has been shown to actually be protective against the development of cancer.

It can inhibit an increase in cell number, inhibit cell groups from forming and even partially stop cell growth in some cancer cell studies. Studies have suggested that metformin may add to the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment regimens.

The potential effect of metformin on breast cancer cells is currently being evaluated in clinical trials, even in women without diabetes.

Pioglitazone  has been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, prompting the FDA to advise against the use of this drug in those with bladder cancer or a prior history of the cancer. This was based on a 40 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer after more than one year’s use in a review of over 190,000 patients.

Fewer studies have looked at links with type 1 diabetes, but from a Swedish report, there appears to be a higher risk of developing stomach cancer, cervical cancer and cancer of the lining of the uterus in people with type 1 diabetes.

While cancer alone is difficult to treat, it becomes an even bigger challenge to try to treat cancer with  diabetes. This is because many anti-diabetic medications interfere with conventional cancer treatment. Similarly, conventional chemotherapy also interferes with glucose metabolism that may lead to hyperglycemia.

Medical Treatments For Cancer Affect Diabetes

Chemotherapy Journal: Chemo Treatment Cycle Tracker, Side Effects Journal & Medical Appointments Diary (Cancer)

Radiation therapy, steroids and some types of chemotherapy may impact your blood sugar levels. And uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to dehydration, which is a frequent side effect of chemotherapy.  Taking extra care to manage your blood sugar levels can help you stay hydrated and feel better during treatment.

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for cancer patients, but its side effects can make it more difficult to keep blood sugar levels in check.

Steroids are often given with chemotherapy to lessen nausea but we know that steroids can raise glucose levels pretty markedly. For this reason, diabetes treatments need to be adjusted, and insulin injections may need to be started, especially around the time that the steroids are given.

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels also can have a negative impact on your other organs. Monitoring your blood sugar levels can help keep them healthy and strong during cancer treatment.

It is vital,  to take the diabetes into consideration as part of the cancer treatment.

That means assembling a multidisciplinary team of caregivers that may include an endocrinologist, internist, surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation therapist, and a dietitian for nutritional education and counseling.

The good news is that experts can generally predict how certain treatments  such as surgery and chemotherapy  will affect diabetes management and advise accordingly.

Stress of any sort can affect blood sugar control,  Consequently, blood sugar levels need to be closely monitored through surgeries and other forms of treatment.

Minimizing the use of corticosteroids [as a cancer treatment] is also preferred, given it can aggravate diabetes. Corticosteroids tend to raise blood sugar levels.

Some chemotherapy drugs can damage the nerves in your body. This can cause pain and changes in sensation. These effects can be worse if you already have nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Focus on a healthy eating plan that’s rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in fat and calories. You can help keep your blood sugar level in a safe range by ensuring there’s a balance of these foods in your diet throughout the day.

If you’re finding that it’s difficult to eat healthy foods, talk to your doctor or schedule an appointment with a dietitian who is also a diabetes educator to find ways to get these foods into your diet.


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If you have energy, exercise when possible. This can help you maintain a healthy weight, which plays a key part in controlling your diabetes. Studies have also shown that exercising during treatment can ease side effects and improve quality of life for many patients.

Research shows that heavy drinking damages cells and can lead to cancer. Alcohol is also high in calories and sugar.

The National Cancer Institute recommends that women have no more than one drink per day and men have no more than two drinks per day. (A drink serving is defined as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.)

Remember, if you have diabetes, the best thing you can do is to make sure your blood sugar levels are under control. That’s true before, during and after cancer treatment.

While there’s no doubt a cancer diagnosis can be scary, it’s important to remember to take care of both diseases for the best results when you also have diabetes. Assembling a team of experts is key,  as well as making sure everyone on your team understands both ailments.

Natural Treatments For Cancer

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Natural cancer approaches are available but they do require a committed approach to healthy lifestyle changes.  The following  natural cancer approaches have been shown to naturally relieve cancer symptoms and limit the spread of tumor cells.

Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine is one of the most commonly used complementary and alternative therapies by people with cancer. Some studies have shown that as many as 6 out of every 10 people with cancer (60%) use herbal remedies alongside conventional cancer treatments.

People have used herbal medicine for centuries to treat many different health conditions. It is often promoted as a natural way to help you relax and cope with anxiety and depression.

Herbal medicine uses plants, or mixtures of plant extracts, to treat illness and promote health.

Herbal medicine aims to restore your body’s ability to protect, regulate and heal itself. It is a whole body approach that looks at your physical, mental and emotional well being. It is sometimes called phytomedicine, phytotherapy or botanical medicine.

Many modern drugs are made from plants. But herbalists don’t extract plant substances in the way the drug industry does. Herbalists believe that the remedy works due to the delicate chemical balance of the whole plant, or mixtures of plants, not one particular active ingredient.

The two most common types of herbal medicine are Chinese herbal medicine and Ayurvedic medicine (Indian).

Refer to our article Using Herbal Remedies Safely!

Ketogenic Diet

We can use food as medicine in our natural cancer approach.  A ketogenic diet is rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates.

A ketogenic diet reduces the amount of energy which must be supplied from the conversion of glucose found in both simple and complex sugars and therefore also helps alleviate symptoms of individuals with metabolic conditions.Cancer cells thrive off of the energy created from glucose fermentation.

Pastured beef and dairy products, organic poultry, good fats such as coconut oil and avocados, low carbohydrates fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, cabbage, lemon and limes are all ketogenic approved foods with cancer protective properties.

ketogenic diet has been shown to significantly delay the progression of cancer tumors and increase survival rate periods by more than 50%!

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy helps to remove two of the major physical problems which contribute to cancer: lack of oxygen to cells and excessive acidity. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment reduces  the deprivation of oxygen to cells and therefore also decreases acidic conditions.

Unlike cancer cells, healthy cells cannot flourish without an adequate oxygen supply. Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy is an effective strategy to increase the oxygen flow to all cells and organs and also buffer the pH of your body’s environment to better equip cells to maintain their normal functions.

By keeping your pH above 7, the body then acts as a “cancer treatment” for itself and goes to work to break down and dispose of any cancerous tumors!

Get Plenty of Vitamin D!

Vitamin D is considered to be at the top of the list of all natural cures & remedies for cancer.Research findings have confirmed that supplementing with Vitamin D and calcium can actually cut the rate of cancer by a whopping 77%! This includes breast, colon and skin cancer, along with other forms of cancers.

Laboratory experiments show that vitamin D can inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer and breast cancer cells. Lung cancer and pancreatic cancer cells may also be susceptible to the effects of vitamin D.

Sunlight also seems to be protective against several types of cancer including ovarian, breast and prostate cancers.Just don’t go overboard with sun exposure (30-40 minutes a day on the face and hands is enough). You definitely don’t want to burn yourself.

Cancer experts  recommend at least 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D be taken by cancer sufferers every day .

The Benefits of Vitamin B17 (laetrile) and Cesium Chloride for Cancer

Many cancer experts believe Vitamin B17 (laetrile) and cesium chloride are the strongest of all cancer cures.

Laetrile (or Vitamin B17) is an extremely potent cancer cure and is actually part of the famous Cellect-Budwig cancer treatment protocol. It works by building up the immune system, along with specifically targeting rogue cancer cells and destroying them.

Blackberries, blueberries, red raspberries, black raspberries, grape seeds, peach kernels, bean sprouts and macadamia nuts are all rich in laetrile so be sure to eat plenty of these!

You also need to combine this cancer treatment with other nutrients including zinc, vitamin C, selenium, magnesium, manganese, vitamins B6, B9 and B12, vitamin A and vitamin E. This is why it’s so important to mix and combine any cancer remedy that you decide to use with other treatments and cures!

Cesium chloride is a natural salt and is also the most caustic mineral there is. The reason it works so well is when it enters the body it hunts down all of the acidic cancer hotspots.

When dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is then rubbed over the area of the tumor, it increases the effectiveness of the cesium chloride even more. This also helps to remove the terrible pain associated with the cancer.

In addition to this, when larger doses of vitamin D and calcium are taken, along with apple cider vinegar and baking soda  (three powerful “natural cancer cures” ) the body alkalizes much quicker – which also helps to bring a speedy end to the cancer.

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The Awesome Power of Selenium!

Selenium has now been recognised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America as an anti-cancer nutrient. For this to happen, there has to be some strong evidence to prove selenium’s benefit in cancer prevention and treatment.

It was discovered  that selenium alone was able to reduce the overall cancer mortality rate by a stunning 50%.Furthermore, it was able to reduce prostate cancer in men by 63%, and colorectal cancers in all participants by 58%. It was also able to reduce lung cancer by 46%, whether these people were smokers or not.

Selenium also works closely with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene to block the chemical reactions in the body that create dangerous free radicals (free radicals damage our DNA and cause degenerative diseases, including cancer).

In addition, selenium helps to stop these damaged DNA molecules from actually reproducing. So in other words, it prevents tumors from even developing.

For selenium take green food such as cereal grass, Chlorella or spirulina (these foods also contain high amounts of vitamins C, E and beta carotene).

You do need to make sure you take AT LEAST 200-400 micrograms (mcg) a day of organic selenium (selenomethionine) from brewers yeast, or even better, Se-Methyl L-Selenocysteine (the best of them all), for maximum benefit.

Also, eat plenty of Brazil nuts (buy the shelled kind) as they contain high amounts of selenium.

Power of Green Tea!

Tohoku University School of Medicine discovered that drinking at least 5 cups a day of green tea cut the rate of blood cancers by an astounding 42%, and lymphatic cancer by 48%.

What’s more, these big reductions were found to be the same in both men and women as well as people with various body mass sizes.

Even more surprising was the fact that by combining green tea with a citrus fruit, the anti-cancer benefits of green tea were increased even more. It’s thought that citrus fruits stabilize the green tea ECGC antioxidants in the gut – enhancing the absorption rate significantly.

The powerful antioxidants contained in green tea are substances known as polyphenols or catechins (ECGc’s). These substances are a 100 times more potent at scavenging and disarming free radicals than vitamin C or vitamin E.

Further studies on green tea and cancer have also shown that green tea can actually reduce the incidence and size of tumors – by a large degree in many cases.

In Japan and China, where women regularly consume green tea, they have the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world. In fact, breast cancer is almost nonexistent in Japanese women! And Japanese men also have one of the lowest incidences of prostate cancer in the world.

Matcha green tea is definitely the most potent and beneficial green tea and tastes the best.  Regular green tea will still do the job nicely. Just make sure that whatever type you buy is certified organic.

In addition, be sure to combine your green tea with a citrus fruit(s) for added benefit. You can now buy green tea varieties that have been infused with citrus, or instead, simply make your own by adding a slice of orange and lemon (and ginger) to your Matcha green tea. It tastes amazingly good!


Effective healing requires the removal of accumulated toxins and metabolic wastes. Being mindful to eliminate or minimize the ingestion of processed foods, substances, and environmental toxins that inhibit the healing process is of primary importance.

It’s also beneficial to begin a healing regimen with a cleanse of the kidneys, liver and colon to remove stored toxins. There are many effective cleansing formulas and procedures that can be found at health food stores, the internet, or through a holistic healer.

Toxic build-up can also be released through fasting, which helps to heal and rejuvenate the body.

The practice of coffee enemas should also be considered since it prevents the reabsorption of toxins, cleanses the blood and liver, and counteracts the symptoms of a potential healing crisis.

To be clear on how to proceed with a fast or enema it may be necessary to speak with a health care professional.

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Lifestyle Changes

Deep, restful sleep is an important part of an effective healing strategy. During sleep our bodies undergo the processes of rebuilding, detoxifying and healing. The value of adequate sleep should not be overlooked because without it our healing efforts will be compromised.

Other lifestyle changes include sunlight exposure and daily exercise.Regular exercise speeds up the elimination of toxins and is necessary to keep the body oxygenated and to improve lymphatic function while building immunity. These therapeutic benefits can be achieved through moderate exercise at least three times per week .

Developing a positive attitude will reduce psychological stress and profoundly aid the healing process. A cancer survivor can achieve this in part by becoming proactive through researching alternative options.There are innumerable books and websites that outline alternative cancer therapies.

The link between diabetes and cancer remains unclear. What is clear is that physical activity, maintaining a stable weight and consuming a healthy diet will help prevent both Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Until more is known about the possible link between diabetes and cancer, the best approach we can take is to strive to follow a healthy lifestyle. 

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