Does Type 2 Diabetes Increase The Risk of Breast Cancer?

Does Type 2 Diabetes Increase The Risk of Breast Cancer?

Diabetes mellitus or diabetes as it is commonly known, occurs when the pancreas are unable to produce sufficient insulin in the body. The insulin is responsible for promoting the absorption of glucose in the cells. Insufficient insulin prevents this process of glucose moving into the cells required for growth and energy. In some cases, the cells don’t properly respond to insulin. Hence, these imbalances result in the condition of diabetes.

Diabetes is also known to cause damage to the circulatory system’s blood vessels. Few results are amputations of the lower limbs, kidney failure, and loss of vision, etc. Additionally, studies have revealed that diabetes also increases the risk of breast cancer.

Different Types Of Diabetes And Breast Cancer

Each type of diabetes involves a different level of risk for breast cancer.

Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes known as juvenile diabetes, usually develops before the age of 40, whereby the body fails to produce insulin on its own. The patients affected with Type I diabetes take insulin, medications and a proper diet as they have to live with this condition throughout their life. However, Type 1 diabetic women are not known to have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Gestational Diabetes And Pre-Diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes aren’t at a risk of developing breast cancer. Aso, pre-diabetics aren’t directly at a risk, unless they develop Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
The Type 2 diabetics suffer from inadequate production of insulin or develop insulin resistance whereby the cells don’t react to insulin in a normal manner. Factors, like being physically inactive, overweight and consuming unhealthy foods, are major causes for the development of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetic women aged 50 and beyond menopause, have about a 20-27 per cent increased risk of breast cancer.

The reasons for increased risk of breast cancer with this type of diabetes are still being researched. However, many changes like increased glucose levels, inflammation, and high insulin levels are the contributory factors as per a link between the two.

Also, numerous risk factors of breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes tend to overlap, like obesity, being older, lack of physical activity, etc. These factors individually or together contribute to the development of breast cancer, especially in diabetic postmenopausal women.

The mortality rate of breast cancer patients with diabetes is high. Their treatment is also highly influenced by their glucose levels and hence they cannot receive aggressive treatment. Thus, they generally undergo a surgery accompanied with/without hormone therapy.

The seriousness of diabetes’s influence in the development of breast cancer cannot be negated and associated issues like a sedentary lifestyle, overweight/obesity and weak cardiovascular health all add to the risk.

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