Breast cancer statistics remain high with both invasive and noninvasive diagnosis. 1.7 million women in the world are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. While we hear fewer statistics about men, they still can and do develop breast cancer, but at a much more infrequent rate.
With so much in the news at this time of year about breast cancer awareness, fundraisers, and considerable amounts of pink clothing everywhere we look, we sometimes forget what it’s like to not just be a survivor but to suffer through the treatments and the risks of comorbidities that follow and in some cases, lead to breast cancer. It’s important to point out that many individuals that develop breast cancer have a genetic mutation that is hereditary, but additionally, many people that have poor lifestyle habits, develop breast cancer and other disorders.
Breast cancer and type II diabetes are interconnected in a select group of individuals. Interestingly, the connection is double-edged; diabetes can lead to breast cancer, and breast cancer treatment can lead to diabetes.
The Diabetic Breast Cancer Association:
. Age (typically 55 plus)
. Hormonal imbalance
. Insulin pathway disruption
. Insulin resistance
. Chemotherapy treatment
. Sedentary lifestyle
. Dietary (SAD-Standard American Diet)
Postmenopausal women, whether naturally brought on or surgically that have undergone chemotherapy are at a much higher risk of developing diabetes. In addition, females with type II diabetes are at a 20% greater risk of developing breast cancer. This is thought to happen because these women are typically overweight and eating a poor quality diet. Along with these and other factors, the development of breast cancer is typical with some of these same lifestyle choices.
Some of the studies have determined that an antinausea and anti-inflammatory medication that is given during chemotherapy called glucocorticoid increases blood sugar levels and leads to hyperglycemia in patients.
One study, led by Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe and her team at the Women’s College Research Institute in Toronto, which looked at the connection of type II diabetes and breast cancer, made several interesting correlations between the two disease states.
Dr. Lipscombe concluded, “It is possible that chemotherapy treatment may bring out diabetes earlier in susceptible women. Increased weight gain has been noted in the setting for adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, which may be a factor in the increased risk of diabetes in women receiving treatment.
Estrogen suppression as a result of chemotherapy may also promote diabetes; however, this may have been less of a factor in this study where most women were already post-menopausal.”
She added, “There is, however, evidence of an association between diabetes and cancer, which may be due to risk factors common to both conditions. One such risk factor is insulin resistance, which predisposes to both diabetes and many types of cancer.”
If you are a breast cancer survivor, or if you have diabetes, there are ways to prevent and stave off the link between these comorbidities:
. Check and regulate hormone levels
. Monitor and correct blood sugar levels
. Keep weight under control
. Eat healthy food such as the Mediterranean diet
Rivers Family Medicine continues to provide their patients with the highest quality of care; they are continually looking for innovative methods of working together with their patients to ensure that they are not only aware of but also involved in the management and improvement of their patient’s health.
Rivers Family Medicine welcomes Dr. Erin Dariano. Dr. Dariano has been practicing Family Medicine in Lima Ohio at Lima Memorial Hospital for the past seven years. Dr. Dariano, D.O., Completed her undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University, and her medical degree at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a board certified D.O., Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Dariano is committed to providing thorough, compassionate, mindful care for her patients.
To schedule an appointment with Rivers Family Medicine, please call (352) 205-4302.
Dr. Dariano, D.O.
1503 Buenos Aires Boulevard, Building 110
The Villages, FL 32159