Diabetics should undergo regular cancer screenings

Diabetics should undergo regular cancer screenings Wiesbaden, Germany - Doctors recommend diabetics undergo regular cancer screenings because not only are they at greater risk of developing kidney and circulatory disease, they also are at greater risk of developing tumours.

Colon cancer is 30 per cent more common in diabetics than in people without the disease and pancreatic cancer is 700 per cent more common, according to Germany's professional association for internists in Wiesbaden. Especially affected are patients with type 2 or adult onset diabetes.

Professor Reiner Hartenstein of the association recommends that diabetics undergo the examination starting at age 50 and have one every five years. Also, a regular check for blood in the stool can help detect tumours in the stomach or intestine early.

The reason for the higher risk of cancer in diabetics is unknown. A possible explanation is that both diabetes and cancer are fostered by unhealthy diet and overweight, said Hartenstein.

Diabetics often feed on carbohydrates and fatty foods and are overweight. This possibly also increases the risk of cancer. It's also possible that the high level of insulin allows cancer cells to grow faster. (dpa)