Tuesday, 12th November 2019
HEALTH & WELL BEING Article
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This Month's Magazine
Pancreatic cancer and diabetes

Pancreatic cancer and diabetes

While the pancreas is the producer of insulin, both diabetes and pancreatic cancer affect it. ancreatic cancer now represents the third most relevant cause of death in Spain due to cancer, after lung and colorectal cancers.

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Dr. Cuesta Muñoz
Médico especialista
en Endocrinología y Nutrición.

Diabetes does not significantly increase the chances of pancreatic cancer however a sudden change in diabetes could suggest a problem. It is advisable to check and control your weight.

Unfortunately these cases are usually detected when they reach an advanced stage, that is when it has become aggressive and more difficult to treat. It would seem that even with the significant reduction of the risk factors, such as smoking, the number of such cases is on the increase.

On the other hand, diabetes is now very common, mainly diabetes type 2. The level of incidence is stated at 11.6 cases every 1000 persons. However diabetes can be a risk factor for various kinds of cancer, including the pancreas. According to recent research, the risk may be slightly higher with diabetics who develop the condition after the age of 50.  

It is still not clear whether one condition causes the other or whether they share a similar underlying cause, but it is concluded that the risk of pancreatic cancer in diabetics is very small. However, there are some circumstances to which particular attention should be paid.

For instance, if a slim person, taking exercise develops diabetes for no reason, or if they have a history of well-controlled diabetes which deteriorates suddenly, this may signify an underlying problem, which could include pancreatic cancer. Your doctor will take this into account in relation to other risk factors. These include family history of pancreatic or other types of cancer, smoking or damage to the pancreas due to habits such as excessive drinking. It is also important to remember that pancreatic cancer usually causes unexplained and unintentional weight loss.

Diabetes can worsen over time and may require more medication to control it, the main reason is usually a simple deterioration in diabetes. All the same it is always advisable to contact your doctor if your condition changes dramatically.

The key factors are diet and exercise.


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Weight control is most important, as it can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. If someone already has diabetes, it can reduce the risk of complications and diminish the risk of developing diabetes-related cancers, including pancreatic and endometrial cancers.

It is important that people are aware of their ideal body weight and understand that obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes are risk factors for cancer. It is a common factor that the majority of people are not unaware they are overweight, having never been advised by their doctor to lose weight. .

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HC Marbella International Hospital (Marbella High Care International Hospital)
Private Hospital Marbella, Calle Ventura del Mar, 11, 29660
+34 952 908 628
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HC Marbella International Hospital (Marbella High Care International Hospital)

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