The Hidden Mechanism Linking Diabetes And Cancer: Uncovering A Century-Old Secret

  • 11-September-2023

Scientists have found that insulin obstruction, commonly connected with type 2 diabetes, is additionally present in malignant growth patients and can speed up the spread of the sickness.

In the 1920s, researchers discovered that cancer patients' urine had a sweet odor. Doctors were initially perplexed by this, but they quickly realized that it was caused by higher blood sugar levels.

Associate Professor Lykke Sylow says, "This was one of the first things we learned about cancer patients."

The sweet-smelling pee recommended that malignant growth influences the body's glucose level. How, then? Another review is prepared to address that inquiry. The new study by Lykke Sylow and colleagues is the first to gather the best research on the subject, and the answer appears to be clear: Previous studies have examined the connection between cancer and insulin.

The cells in cancer patients do not respond well to insulin. As a result, cancer patients require more insulin to achieve the same result. Lykke Sylow, one of the study's main authors, says, "If you have insulin resistance, your body needs to make more insulin than usual to control your blood sugar."

Furthermore, the body's capacity to answer insulin is hindered in both malignant growth patients and individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Fatigue, increased thirst, and increased urination are all signs of type 2 diabetes, and they can be difficult to spot. Additionally, because cancer patients already exhibit some of these symptoms, such as fatigue, insulin resistance can be even more difficult to identify.

In addition to the negative effects that insulin resistance can have, insulin resistance can also cause cancer cells to multiply.

Insulin is a growth hormone, and we know from cell, animal, and some human studies that it has the same effect on cancer cells. That is, a high insulin level can accelerate the growth of cancer cells, according to Joan Màrmol, the study's second principal investigator, who adds:

"Obviously, this can be a tremendous issue for malignant growth patients."

Besides, insulin obstruction can impact the development of proteins in the muscles. That is, the body will lose muscle mass and strength if it does not respond to insulin, which is a major issue for many cancer patients.

Overall, cancer and insulin resistance are awful together.

Lykke Sylow hopes that oncologists will begin to check patients' blood sugar levels, even if they appear to be normal. This is because insulin resistance can be difficult to identify because the body will simply produce more insulin to compensate.

Additionally, they must begin treating the patient if they discover insulin resistance. We are just used to putting insulin resistance in the same category as type 2 diabetes, so we are able to treat the condition.

However, additional research is required on some aspects of the connection.

"Trying to figure out who develops insulin resistance is the next step. Which malignant growth patients are in danger here? Do they have particular risk factors or a particular type of cancer? Or on the other hand is it maybe associated with the treatment?" Lykke Sylow adds the following:

"And I hope to see more long-term studies of insulin resistance treatment and whether it has a positive effect on the patients once we have identified those at high risk for developing the condition."

An example: Cancer patients with insulin resistance: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” published in Acta Oncologica on April 12, 2023, by Joan M. Màrmol, Michala Carlsson, Steffen H. Raun, Mia K. Grand, Jonas Srensen, Louise Lang Lehrskov, Erik A. Richter, and Ole Norgaard.

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