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Type II Diabetes Linked to Cancer Deaths

Rachel Morrell

Type II Diabetes Linked to Cancer Deaths

Today I was at the dentist for a new patient exam and cleaning. I planned on about an hour for my appointment, but I was in the chair for two and a half hours! Consultations, x-rays, laser gum treatment, polishing, flossing… and movies. Yes, movies. In between the time that the hygienist measured my gums and the dentist came to say “hello,” I got to watch an informative movie on periodontal disease. The movie talked about the importance of plaque prevention and that patients who do not control plaque and bacteria build-up are more susceptible to heart disease and stroke. I am a daily flosser, but maybe I want to up my game now to twice a day!

Periodontal disease and heart disease have a connection? This information was new to me! How is that seemingly unrelated conditions are actually linked? Whether it seems preposterous or not, one health condition can lead to another. Take, for example, type II diabetes and colon cancer. A recent study confirms past research that type II diabetes increases your risk for breast cancer and colon cancer. The study also affirms that having type II diabetes makes you more prone to die of these two cancers. The research for this study was quite extensive.

The research team analyzed 20 studies that compiled data from 1.9 million people between 2007 and 2012. Diabetics had a 26 percent higher risk of developing colon cancer and were 30 percent more likely to die from colon cancer when compared to diabetics.

What is the connection between these two conditions? The strongest connection seems to be obesity. Being overweight is a risk factor for both diabetes and colon cancer. Obesity can lead to diabetes, but if it is not managed you could be susceptible to colon cancer. Excess weight, especially in the abdominal area, puts you more at risk for both conditions.

With these new findings, prevention campaigns and wellness programs are needed more than ever. Kristin De Bruijn, lead researcher at Erasmus Medical Centre, believes that it is most important to focus on children and youth, so they can be aware of the health risks of obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. Being physically active is an essential part of diabetes prevention and helps in many ways. Exercising:

  • Maintains weight loss
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces resting heart rate
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Improves psychological well-being

Genetics do play a role in conditions such as obesity, diabetes and colon cancer but lifestyle plays an even more important part. Are you doing everything that you can do to prevent obesity, diabetes and colon cancer? Here are some daily choices that you can make as we start the New Year to renew your commitment to your health:

  1. Exercise—Aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. It can be running, brisk walking, tennis, swimming, cycling or a fitness class at a gym. Anything that increases your heart rate for a sustained amount of time will help reduce your risk.
  2. Stop smoking—Smoking can increase your risk for diabetes by at least 30 percent. Smoking is also one of the leading causes of cancer and premature death.
  3. Modify your eating habits—Increase servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Try to eliminate processed foods and preserved foods, and reduce your sugar, saturated fat and sodium intake.
  4. Schedule annual physicals—Discuss your weight and activity level with your doctor. A physical includes panels of blood tests that will detect any problems in blood sugar levels or hormone levels. Regular doctor visits means early diagnosis and early treatment.

Our bodies are complex machines. A machine cannot fully function without all its parts, and when one part malfunctions, it may affect another. This year, make a commitment to care for yourself better than you ever have before. Join a fitness center, take steps to eat healthier and set physical goals for yourself. Wellness is its own reward! (Source: Dominican Today)

Related Article: Potential Link Found Between Diabetic Men and Colon Cancer

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