Obese and Type 2 Diabetics at Greater Risk of Colon Cancer

Two separate studies have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology regarding the risk of developing colon cancer. According to both of these studies, individuals suffering from obesity or type 2 diabetes have a lower likelihood of surviving the cancer. Although both studies were centered around the prognosis of surviving colon cancer, they also found that individuals suffering from obesity or diabetes had a lower chance of surviving other medical problems as well, such as heart disease.

One study followed 2,303 people who were diagnosed with colon cancer between 1992 and 2007. During that time frame, 381 of the people died from the colon cancer, while 471 died from heart disease or other medical complications. According to the data in the study, obese patients were 30% more likely to die from the cancer than patients with a normal BMI. Additionally, obese people were 35% more likely to die from heart disease. The likelihood of patients with type 2 diabetes dying from any cause was 53% higher than people without diabetes.

Also, people taking insulin had a worse prognosis than those who were not. Insulin is usually used in patients who have a longer lasting case of diabetes, which means they are more likely to suffer from significant health problems.

A second study was conducted over the same time span. During that time, researchers followed 2,278 people who were diagnosed with colon cancer. Among those diagnosed, 377 patients died from the cancer and 342 died from other causes. The study results found that people with type 2 diabetes were at a 29 percent higher risk of dying from colon cancer.

Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt is an author of a separate study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Meyerhardt agrees with the findings of both studies, citing that individuals should do what they can to avoid developing obesity or diabetes. Clearly, both medical conditions negatively impact citizens’ health. Meyerhardt said that exercising and losing weight may not always help. However, they are clearly good practices to engage in and are deterrents for cancer and other medical complications.

Both studies cited that 1 million Americans have survived colon cancer and the mortality rate has decreased over the past 20 years. The prognosis for patients suffering from colon cancer may be better, but researchers want to better understand the variables that play a role in developing and treating colon cancer to further reduce mortality rates in the future.

[box]One limitation of prior studies was that they centered primarily around whether patients had a high body mass index (BMI) or type 2 diabetes when they were initially diagnosed. They did not address the impact these factors played in individuals who have already been diagnosed with colon cancer.[/box]


Kalen Smith

Kalen Smith is a professional Internet marketer, consumer researcher and writer. He has been a writer for Weight Loss Triumph and is the cofounder of the blog Great Paleo Diet Cookbooks, where he writes about the paleo diet and lifestyle.

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