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Diabetes and colorectal cancer linked in men

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Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer in men may be linked, researchers have found.

Of 1,567 men diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, some 227 had type 2 diabetes, compared to just 108 of the 1,242 women studied, said the research published in medical journal Gastroenterology.

The research suggests men with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to colorectal cancer than those who do not have the disease, irrespective of whether they used insulin.

However, no link was found to show women with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop colorectal cancer.

A lack of an association between type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer risk among women could be caused by better glucose control among females who have type 2 diabetes in recent years, the research team speculated.

“While our study supports an association of type 2 diabetes with colorectal cancer incidence among men, our results also suggest that insulin use is associated with a slight, but not a substantially increased, risk of colorectal cancer among men with type 2 diabetes,” said Peter T. Campbell, PhD, of the American Cancer Society and lead author of this study.

“Prevention strategies should emphasise adherence to guidelines intended for the general population such as smoking cessation, weight management, exercise and regular early detection exams.”

The findings formed part of a wider study of 73,312 men and 81,663 women, who were selected from the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.

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