With more information about cancer, people can make better decisions regarding their health. Considering the evidence of a link between increased cancer risks and diabetes, people with high blood sugar have even more reason to start taking action.
The diabetes and cancer connection does not necessarily mean that diabetes itself causes cancer. Rather, scientists believe that people who exhibit high blood sugar — a resting level of 100 mg/dl or greater — tend to be more likely to develop certain forms of cancer.
One reason for the connection: insulin plays an important role in cell growth. With insulin problems, the body may be less equipped to fight the growth of cancer cells.
While the link is still not fully understood, some key medical facts have been established regarding diabetes and cancer:
High blood sugar levels are believed to increase your cancer risk by up to 15%.
The link between cancer and diabetes holds true for people who are not overweight.
People with prediabetes show higher rates for liver, colorectal and stomach cancers.
Diabetes has also been linked with higher risks of heart disease and other serious conditions.
Whether diabetes has a causal relationship with cancer remains unclear. However, enough evidence has mounted to suggest that risk groups for diabetes likely have higher risk for cancer as well.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prediabetes, consider the potential risk of cancer as another reason to make changes to diet and exercise.
One in every 640 adults between the ages of 20 and 39 is a childhood cancer survivor, according to the U.S. Institute of Medicine. About 70% of those cancer survivors will experience serious, life-altering health problems as adults that are directly related to their cancer battle and, more often, the cancer treatment they underwent decades ago. To these childhood cancer survivors it seems a cruel twist of fate that cancer up-ends their lives not once, but twice.
A recent University of Florida study on the long-term effects of childhood cancer found that many survivors suffer physical, mental or social effects as adults that can drastically impair daily function and quality of life. Working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Florida researchers analyzed data from 1,667 childhood cancer survivors.
According to a report on Medical News Today, “The most common symptoms the survivors reported were head pain, back and neck pain, pain in other parts of the body, sensation abnormalities, and disfigurement” (such as hair loss). Other symptoms included heart problems, lung problems, mobility issues, learning and memory issues, depression and anxiety. Seventy percent of childhood cancer survivors reported at least one negative adult-onset symptom with 25% reporting six or more. With each additional symptom, survivors reported a noticeable decrease in their quality of life.
It is possible that using integrated immunotherapy to bolster the immune system during and after childhood cancer treatment, either as a primary treatment or with traditional treatment may decrease adult-onset symptoms for childhood cancer survivors. There may also be benefit in continuing immunotherapy treatments beyond initial cancer treatment to optimize immune system benefits throughout life.
In 2003, the U.S. Institute of Medicine released a report on the special challenges faced by childhood cancer survivors after they entered their adult years. While citing a remarkable 78% improvement in survival rates since 1970, the report noted that, “More than two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors will face complications, disabilities or adverse outcomes directly related to their cancer, its treatment or both.”
As we’ve been discussing in social media lately, childhood cancer survivors frequently face serious medical problems and chronic illnesses during their adult years that can significantly diminish their quality of life and even decrease their life expectancy. A new movement designed to call attention to the unique challenges faced by survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer is building steam. The Society of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (SAYAO) recently held its first annual meeting at the University of California at Irvine with the goal of building awareness and improving the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors.
Not long ago, we reported on a new St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital study that linked the use of chemotherapy to treat childhood cancers to the survivors’ development of chronic, life threatening diseases during their adult years. Increasing the severity of the threat, the St. Jude’s study found that 90% of the heart conditions and 55% of the lung problems that childhood cancer survivors developed went undetected until the condition had reached an advanced stage.
SAYAO is calling on the cancer community to address the long-term issues of cancer survival. Non-toxic immunotherapy treatment at an alternative cancer treatment center may offer an important avenue not only to effective initial treatment but also to improved lifelong outcomes.
Scientists mapping cancer genomes have found surprising similarities between cancer tumors that originate in different organs. Their findings could one day lead to genetically engineered cancer treatments capable of targeting specific cancer genes. Advanced targeted cell therapy now allows cancer treatment specialists to target specific types of tissue at the cellular level; but this research breakthrough could lead to treatments that can turn on or off specific genes that initiate cancer and govern the growth of cancer cells. The discovery was made by biomolecular engineers working on the National Institutes of Health sponsored Cancer Genome Atlas which seeks to catalog the DNA of the thousands of tumor types included in the many varieties of cancer.
Shifting the focus of cancer research and treatment from the cellular to the genetic level could also lead to new treatments for cancers that have so far failed to respond to treatment, study co-author Josh Stuart of the University of California-Santa Cruz told the Los Angeles Times. Typically, the cancer drugs currently used in traditional medicine are designed to treat cancers of a specific organ or tissue type, such as breast cancer or lung cancer. Based on this new research, scientists hope to develop cross-cancer treatments that can cross organ and tissue boundaries to attack tumors with genetic similarities no matter where in the body they are located. In the future, cancer may be identified and treated by tumor type rather than body location.
The Cancer Genome Atlas project is expanding our knowledge of how cancerous tumors form and grow; but perhaps more importantly, it is allowing scientist to see connections between different types of cancer that could eventually lead to a cure for cancer.
Interesting new cancer research into the way cells process sugar may lead to new alternative cancer treatments for chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer. British researchers at the University of Southampton have discovered some intriguing links between sugar processing within cells and cell division and growth.
Researchers hope to halt the division and growth of breast cancer cells by targeting cancer’s “sweet tooth.” Cancer cells have a surprising appetite for the sugars found in human blood, using the sugars to fuel rapid growth. If researchers are able to harness that appetite for sugar, they may be able to stop breast cancer and tumor cells from multiplying and spreading without damaging surrounding healthy cells. The indiscriminate damage chemotherapy inflicts on healthy cells is a major drawback to its use in battling cancer.
In ground-breaking research funded by the Breast Cancer Campaign, News Medical reported that University of Southampton scientist Dr Jeremy Blaydes has shown “that chemicals called cyclic peptide inhibitors can stop ‘sweet toothed’ cancer cells from growing and multiplying by blocking proteins in the cells called CtBPs (C-terminal binding proteins).”
Targeted cell therapy is one of the most promising new research tracks being used to develop revolutionary alternative cancer treatments that rely on basic cell function and the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.
Issel’s 60-year track record with immunotherapy-based alternative cancer treatments has produced remarkable long-term remission and recovery from chemotherapy and radiation-resistant breast cancer and many other types of cancer. It is hopes that this new discovery will in time give cancer patients an additional beneficial alternative cancer therapy option to the destructive side effects of traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.