Diabetes after 50 could be an early signal to pancreatic cancer- study

According to a new research conducted lately by a group of scientists from the University of Southern California in the United States, diabetes attack after fifty years of age could be possible an early indication of “pancreatic cancer.” The researchers pointed out that the Americans, Latinos, and Africans getting diabetes after 50 are at a higher threat of pancreatic cancer.

Cancer-associated with the pancreas is the most fatal type of cancer and has only an eight percent survival rate for just up to five years.  The symptoms of this type of cancer are- drastic loss in weight, untold abdominal pain, and fatigue. The key risk factors encompass smoking, old age, family history, and obesity. As revealed by the American Cancer Society, on an average, near about thirty percent of cases of pancreatic cancer are associated with smoking.

As a part of this study, near about fifty thousand African-American and Hispanic women and men were taken as subjects. The subjects were analyzed for over twenty years. At the beginning of the study, the subjects were healthy and free from both diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

During the course of the study, around sixteen thousand subjects out of the total fifty thousand participants reportedly developed diabetes and around four hundred of them got pancreatic cancer. As said by the study’s lead author, Prof. Wendy Setiawan from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, the subjects who acquired diabetes were detected to be at a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer in comparison to the subjects who didn’t acquire diabetes.

Setiawan said, “We need to have a better way to identify patients with early pancreatic cancer.” Further, the researcher explained, “So we wanted to understand what are the characteristics of people in our study and other populations that help narrow down who are the high-risk populations.”

Dr. Zev Wainberg, an associate professor at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, said that the study gives strong signals that acquiring diabetic conditions in the later phase of life could be an early indication of cancer associated with the pancreas.

The observations of this new study got published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Monday 18th June.

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