Saturday, July 7, 2012

Type 2 Diabetes - Breast Cancer, Insulin Resistance, and Diabetes

As you know, breast cancer is considered to be epidemic amongst women over age fifty. Insulin resistance which is the underlying problem for the vast majority of people with Type 2 diabetes, has also been linked to an increased risk for this type of cancer.
Investigators at the University of North Carolina in the United States looked further into the problem of Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. Their interest was in other factors associated with diabetes and this form of cancer, and with survival.
Their study, published in July 2012 in the journal Cancer Causes and Control, included 1,447 women with diabetes, and 1,453 without.
  • women with diabetes were at a 35 per cent higher risk of developing breast cancer after menopause than were women without diabetes.
  • non-white women with diabetes were more than three times more likely to develop breast cancer both before and after menopause.
The risk of death from any cause was greater in diabetic women with breast cancer than in non-diabetic women, and that difference was particularly significant among women who were obese when cancer was diagnosed. How long the volunteers had known they had Type 2 diabetes and the type of treatment they were receiving for it, had no influence upon the cancer.
From these results, it was concluded diabetes could increase the incidence of this type of cancer in older women and non-whites and the incidence of death due to any cause.
Eight basic signs and symptoms can indicate the possibility of breast cancer:
  • a hard mass in the side the breast or underarm, can sometimes be felt. Breasts naturally have soft lumps, but a hard lump should be examined by a doctor.
  • a breast with cancer can swell or become warm, red, or darker.
  • the usual shape of the breast can change.
  • dimpling or puckering of the skin, giving it the appearance of orange peel, is another sign.
  • the nipple or other part of the breast can be pulled in.
  • an itchy, scaly sore or rash can develop on the nipple.
  • a sudden nipple discharge can develop. Bloody or clear discharge can indicate cancer or infection.
  • a new pain that stays in one place can be a symptom of breast cancer.
When in doubt, have your breasts examined.
Breast mammography is recommended beginning at age 40 for women with average risk. For women with a family history of breast cancer, mammography can start earlier. Professional breast exams should be performed beginning at age 20 and every 3 years thereafter until the age of 40, when the frequency should be increased to every year.
Some ways of preventing breast cancer include breastfeeding if possible, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, limiting alcohol intake, and limiting the use of postmenopausal hormones.
The woman's menstrual history can apparently affect your risk of breast cancer, but many experts are in conflict as to how significant a role it really plays in the big picture.

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