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Diabetes And Cancer: What’s Your Risk?

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Article by Dr. Carrie Jones

Do you have diabetes or does it run in your family? Maybe you are pre-diabetic and not working very hard to lower your blood sugar. It’s time to pay attention and start working on your health because the April 2011 edition of Diabetes Care reported an increased risk between those with those diabetes and developing certain cancers.

The cancers more at risk for men included colon, pancreas, rectum, bladder, kidney and prostate while amongst women there was an increase in breast, leukemia and endometrial.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 million Americans have diabetes and 79 million have pre-diabetes. A normal fasting blood sugar (glucose) is under 99 mg/dl whereas pre-diabetes is defined as levels between 100-125 mg/dl and diabetes levels are 126 mg/dl and higher. Besides cancer, blood sugar problems increase your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, eye/vision issues, wound healing problems, weight gain, and heart disease.

Diet and exercise are the best ways to control your blood sugar. Exercise utilizes the excess sugar as energy for your muscles while lifestyle choices made without sugar help keep your levels normal. Of course, if you have a strong family history or have numbers that aren’t responding to your food and workout routine then you may need medication to help improve your stubborn levels.

Ask your health care provider today for a fasting blood sugar level and then ask for the number. If you are in the upper 90’s then you’re a little too close for comfort. If you’re 100 mg/dl and higher then take action and work hard to make changes for your health. Don’t become a statistic.

1. Li C, et al. Association Between Diagnosed Diabetes and Self-Reported Cancer Among U.S. Adults. Diabetes Care online edition; April 2011.
2. www.cdc.gov

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