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Glucose control reduces cancer risk by 60%, study shows

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A recent scientific study confirms the importance of glucose control to reduce cancer in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes

A new study carried out at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) concludes that adequate glucose control reduces the risk of cancer by up to 60% in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Specifically, the experts who wrote this paper emphasize that long-term weight loss appears to offer cancer prevention. Good glycemic control, on the other hand, lowers the risk of this type of diabetes.

This research work also determines that the risk of cancer can be reduced considerably after a significant and long-term weight loss. However, to date, there have been few studies that have analyzed the relationship between weight loss, cancer risk, and glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Glucose control and cancer risk

The researchers compared a group of 393 adults with type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery to a control group of 308 people with the same clinical features, namely extreme obesity and type 2 diabetes but no bariatric surgery. In other ways, the two groups were equivalent, such as in terms of gender composition, blood glucose, and smoking.

In the surgery group, 68 people (17 percent) developed cancer while losing a large amount of weight. The matching developing cancer cases in the control group totaled 74 (24 percent), while these patients maintained their extreme obese state. The average time of follow-up was 21 years. Overall, the group that underwent obesity surgery had a 37 percent decreased risk of developing cancer.

Study results

However, when cancer risk was evaluated in patients who attained normal glucose control and had no return of diabetes throughout a ten-year period, the biggest difference was identified.

Cancer occurred in just 12 out of 102 patients (12 percent), compared to 75 out of 335 (22 percent) in the group whose diabetes had recurred within the same time period.

Thus, the results suggest a 60 percent reduction in cancer risk in the group that maintained normal glucose management throughout a 10-year period.

Regarding these results, Professor Kajsa Sjöholm, principal investigator of the study, points out that “What we see is that, among patients with type 2 diabetes, many cancer cases are preventable. These results are an important contribution that enhances our understanding of the connection between glucose control and cancer prevention.”

This research work once again highlights the importance of glucose control in patients with diabetes, in addition to regulating body weight.

For her part, Professor Magdalena Taube, from the University of Gothenburg, argues that “the global epidemic of both obesity and diabetes leads to an increased risk of cancer, as well as an increased risk of premature death. It has been estimated that, over the next 10 to 15 years, obesity may cause more cancer cases than smoking in several countries. This is a clear illustration of how serious the condition is.”

Although more research is needed in this area, the findings of this study indicate guidelines for cancer prevention in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes, with glucose control being a critical component.

Source: 10.2337/dc21-1335

Image Credit: Getty

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