Researchers have found the reason why diabetes increases cancer risk. The report proves that the DNA of diabetic people is damaged which develops cancer cells. High blood sugar levels do not allow the body to repair itself thereby resulting in affected cells.
Scientists have tried to study the link between diabetes and increased risk of cancer. The findings answer the unsolved mystery from years scientists were unable to solve until now. However, diabetics have an increased risk of 2.5 fold as compared to other people. The increasing number of diabetes patients every year is increasing the risk of cancer even more.
How Diabetes Increases Cancer Risk?
The main cause for an increased risk of cancer in diabetic people is the hormonal imbalance. Insulin is not able to carry glucose into cells which results in dysregulation of hormones. This results in an increased production of insulin and blood sugar levels.
Moreover, increased levels of insulin hormone can stimulate cancer cells to grow and spread all over the body. This causes more production of insulin by the pancreas resulting in hyperinsulinemia.
Also, overweight people are more likely to suffer from diabetes type 2. Obesity or excess weight means that the body has more fat tissue. The fat tissues account for more production of the hormone known as adipokines thereby causing inflammation.
Inflammation can be harmful to the cells and tissues causing further more damage. This research is a part of the study although it still lacks evidence.
Damaged DNA Cells Spread Cancer
Termini had a different approach for studying the effect of high glucose levels on DNA. He studied the type of damage on DNA and found an adduct to be responsible for cell damage. This damage causes cancer cells to spread all over.
The damaged DNA cells cause different cancers such as breast cancer, kidney cancer, and ovarian cancer. Adducts are chemically modified cells that are found more in diabetic models. Also, the adducts affect the fixing ability of cells thereby causing genome instability.
The researchers did not want to stop the study here. So, they decided to carry on further to know what affects the repairing ability of cells. The molecular reason was then taken into account which identified two proteins. Both proteins are less active in people with diabetes. HIF1A is the transcription factor and mTORC1 is the signaling protein.
Stabilizing HIF1A reduces cell damage thereby increasing their repairing ability. Moreover, Termini studied that mTROC1 stimulated HIF1A. The reason why diabetes increases cancer risk is well explained in the study although more research will be done.
Drugs for Diabetes and Cancer
Drugs that stimulated both the proteins are already available according to Termini. More research on the effect of drugs in reducing cancer is still do be conducted. However, Termini noted the positive effect of metformin on reducing blood glucose levels and cancer risk by increasing DNA repairability
The effect of drugs in combination with metformin is still in the study. This will stimulate the proteins and enhance cell repair. However, reducing blood sugar levels with drugs is a more immediate action for decreasing the risk of cancer.
Although this may seem an easy approach, it is difficult for people to maintain glucose levels. Further research will be carried out on rodents first to see if there is any improvement in DNA.
The study has shown a prominent link between glucose levels and cancer risk. Reducing blood glucose levels will also lower the risk of developing cancer in diabetic patients. Metformin manages diabetes very well and it also stimulates the repairing ability of DNA cells.