Cancer cells grow and malign because of several supporting factors, such as radiation, exposure to chemicals, to DNA mutations obtained from genetic inheritance. The rest, cancer can be triggered by various environmental factors, such as viral infections, pollution, and a bad lifestyle. Take for example, almost 70% of cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking habits. Diabetes is not the main cause of cancer, but uncontrolled high blood sugar can increase your risk of getting cancer as a complication. Why is that? Then, is there a way to prevent it?
What is diabetes?
There are 2 types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce insulin at all because it is damaged and does not function. Whereas in type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but it cannot function optimally because of insulin resistance.
Insulin itself is an important hormone that helps and delivers glucose into the body. If the production of insulin in the body is not enough or none at all, then blood sugar can increase which ultimately causes diabetes.
Why can diabetes be one of the causes of cancer?
The development of cancer in people who have diabetes can be caused by an imbalance in the hormone insulin and high blood sugar levels. In addition, cancer also has the same risk factors as diabetes, including obesity, old age, and lack of physical activity.
In addition, some experts also believe that the risk of cancer in diabetics increases with the use of insulin or some diabetes drugs that increase insulin production in the body. High levels of insulin in the body can cause hyperinsulinemia which can encourage tumor growth by binding to the IGF-1 growth hormone receptor.
Some of the cancers that people with diabetes might experience are:
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer - found in nearly 80 percent of diabetes cases
- Endometrial cancer
- Colorectal cancer (large intestine and rectum) - about 30 percent of people who have diabetes are prone to develop colon cancer
- Breast cancer - found in almost 20 percent of cases of diabetes in women
- Bladder cancer
Even so, quoted from the WebMD page, experts from the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society have not been able to confirm the link between diabetes as a cause of cancer. But, experts agree that controlling diabetes by making healthy lifestyle changes is key to reducing the risk of cancer.
The importance of treating diabetes to prevent cancer
Even though diabetes is incurable, you can control the symptoms to improve your quality of life. The adoption of a healthy lifestyle is the main key to controlling diabetes in addition to the consumption of various drugs prescribed by doctors.
Actually a healthy lifestyle not only functions to control and manage diabetes, but also maintains your overall health, including avoiding cancer.
Planning a diet program by choosing healthy foods that contain balanced nutrition is a mandatory treatment for diabetics. A diet rich in nutrients is proven to effectively control diabetes and reduce the risk of cancer. Don't forget, pay attention to your carbohydrate intake. Avoid consuming simple or processed carbohydrates such as sugar and products made with flour because these foods will cause a surge of insulin and dangerous blood sugar.
Aside from paying attention to your diet, you are also advised to routinely engage in physical activity, stop smoking, and avoid stress. Most importantly, always check your blood sugar levels every day. Check blood sugar levels regularly to tell your blood sugar level right away. This certainly helps to remind you to always keep blood sugar levels normal.
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