Study links type 2 diabetes to aggressive breast cancer

Women with type 2 diabetes are more likely than those without to develop more advanced, aggressive forms of breast cancer, Reuters reported of a study Feb. 27.

The study, which involved 6,267 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2002 and 2014, examined the likelihood of developing advanced cancers when diabetes was present versus when it wasn’t. A quarter of the women recruited for the study had been previously diagnosed with diabetes.

The research team found women with diabetes were 28 percent more likely to be diagnosed with advanced, higher-grade tumors. Half of the women who reported taking insulin to treat their diabetes had been on the regimen for more than three years, but, according to Reuters, insulin use and duration didn’t appear to influence the study’s results.

Tahseen Chowdhury, a diabetes consultant at Royal London Hospital in the U.K. who wasn’t involved in the study, told Reuters the trial suggests women with diabetes should ensure they get regular screening mammograms in addition to their conventional care routines.

“Women with diabetes appear to have not only a higher risk of breast cancer, but also a higher risk of poorer types of breast cancer,” she said.

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