Type Two Diabetics May Have Higher Liver Cancer Risk

A recent study has highlighted another problem that many with type two diabetes will have to concern themselves with—along with the need for strict blood sugar control. The long-range study, which looked at data that was collected between 1993 and 1996 from some 170,000 adults with diabetes, demonstrates a link that is troubling; patients with type two diabetes may be more at risk for developing liver cancer than the general population. The huge study definitely indicates that those with diabetes have another reason to take the best possible care of themselves, as well as making sure to work closely with their medical team. The best defense against all major diabetes complications is to make sure to monitor and control blood glucose levels; diabetics with any form of the disease should make sure that they have enough free style lite test strips, or true track strips, along with other supplies for diabetes such as their medications, and if they take insulin, a large enough supply of insulin syringes.


Overall, the study looked at a wide range of demographics; black, Native Hawaiian, Japanese-American, Latino and Caucasian adults were all included. Researchers followed up with the participants some 16 years after the initial comprehensive health questionnaire was answered. Over that time, about 500 participants had developed liver cancer. The researchers were careful to isolate risk factors such as age, alcohol intake, body-mass index, and cigarette usage; in addition, blood tests for hepatitis B and hepatitis C were performed on 700 participants—whether or not they had liver cancer. While 500 out of 170,000 participants may not seem like a large number, the figure is still somewhat troubling for scientists, because it is in excess of the rate of cases for the general population. Type 2 diabetes predisposes patients to a condition called “fatty liver,” which is where the liver has difficulty handling the abundance of fat in its cells and becomes inflamed. Fatty liver disease is the number one cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)—the most common type of liver cancer.


Now that the findings have been made, the question becomes which factor in the lives of type two diabetics leads to the increase in risk? Dr. James D’Olimpio, an oncologist at Monter Cancer Center in New York, said that some of the medications may play a role. Other issues are also being examined as potential leads in the question of cancer development, such as the impact of variable blood sugar and diet. The research is scheduled to be presented at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Atlanta. While the findings are preliminary, the research will certainly continue. In the meantime, it’s important for those with type two diabetes to ensure that they are managing their diet and exercise, and monitoring their blood sugar levels appropriately. Making sure to have sufficient supplies for diabetes, such as true track strips, freestyle lite testing strips, and other products, is an important function of staying healthy with diabetes. While not all type two diabetics use insulin, those that do should make sure to have an ample syringe supply as well, to make sure that they are not inviting infection by reusing insulin syringes.

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