A new study has found an association between diabetes and advanced-stage breast cancer.
Researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Women’s College Hospital in Canada analyzed data from more than 38,000 women ages 20 to 105 who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during the period 2007-2012. Approximately 16 percent of the women had diabetes and it was found that these patients had an increased risk of being diagnosed with more advanced stage breast cancer. This could explain their higher cancer mortality, said the lead researcher. The findings of the study were published in the Journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
The key findings of the study are as follows:
- Women with diabetes were more likely to present with advanced stages of cancer than those without diabetes
- Women with diabetes were 14 percent more likely to present with Stage II, 21 percent were more likely to present Stage III and 16 percent were more likely to present with Stage IV breast cancer than with Stage I, which is the most treatable stage
- Five year survival for breast cancer patients with high blood sugar was 15 percent lower than for those without diabetes
- Diabetic patients had higher risk of lymph node metastases (spreading of the cancer) and larger tumors than those without disease. The mammogram rates were lower among diabetic women, which could account for later-stage cancer
The study suggests that breast cancer screening and detection practices may need to be modified in diabetic patients to reduce the risks of later-stage detection.
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