Diabetes raises cancer-surgery death
In a meta-analysis of existing studies, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that people with diabetes are 50 percent more likely to die after cancer surgery than diabetes-free patients are. The paper is published in the April issue of the journal "Diabetes Care."
The finding further complicates the diabetes/cancer relationship, according to Hsin-Chieh Yeh, one of the study's lead authors. Quoted in a press release from the American Diabetes Association, Yeh said, "We already know that diabetes appears to increase the risk for some cancers. This study shows that having pre-existing diabetes also increases the chance of post-operative mortality in newly diagnosed cancer patients."
The relationship was particularly strong for surgeries for cancers of the colon and esophagus. Yeh notes that diabetes is known to increase post-surgery risk of infection and cardiovascular and renal complications among people who undergo surgery for reasons other than cancer.
So, if you have diabetes and are diagnosed with cancer, what should you do? Talk to your surgeon. Yeh says that managing diabetes in light of cancer surgery should become "part of the preoperative discussion."
Jennifer LaRue Huget
March 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories: Cancer , Diabetes
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