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Diabetes mellitus type 2 boosts breast cancer risk

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By Jimmy Downs

Monday Oct 29, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Having diabetes mellitus type 2 increases the risk of developing breast cancer and death from all causes in older women and non-white women, according to a new study in Cancer Causes and Control.
R. J. Cleveland of Department Medicine University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and colleagues conducted the study and found postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes were 35 percent more likely to develop breast cancer, compared with those without diabetes.

Among non-white women with diabetes, the risk for developing breast cancer was increased by 289 percent, compared with those without type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Among women with breast cancer, those with diabetes were 65 percent more likely than those without diabetes to die from all causes.  The death risk was 149 percent higher if women with breast cancer had also obesity.

Among women with type 2 diabetes mellitus, duration of diabetes or type of treatment did not affect breast cancer incidence nor mortality though.

The researchers concluded "Our findings suggest that diabetes may increase incidence of breast cancer in older women and non-whites, and mortality due to all causes."

The current study analysed data from 1447 women with breast cancer and 1453 controls without the disease who participated in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project.

Breast cancer is expected to be diagnosed in more than 230,000 women in 2012 in the U.S. and the disease is expected to kill 37,000 women in the same year and same country, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Breast cancer in many cases are preventable by following a healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet.  But two most things women need to avoid in order to reduce the risk of the disease are medical radiation and hormone therapy, according to an authoritative organization.

Diabetes mellitus type 2 affects 26 million U.S. men and women and doctors do not have a cure for the disease, which can lead to deadly diseases such as heart disease and cancers like breast cancer.

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