Munich (The-Health-Site.com) - Increased blood sugar levels seem to significantly increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This relationship exists not only with people who have already developed diabetes, but before.
This is shown in a review study in which data from nine studies involving a total of 2,048 pancreatic cancer patients were included. Wei-Chih Liao from National Taiwan University researchers investigated the association between fasting blood glucose and the incidence of pancreatic tumors. Under fasting blood sugar, doctors understand the level of glucose in the blood measured in the morning on an empty stomach.
Even moderately elevated levels are risky
For the study, the team focused on data from patients whose blood sugar had been detected before the onset of cancer. This is important in that a pancreatic tumor often causes diabetes - and thus increasing sugar levels.
The evaluation showed that a 10 mg / dl higher fasting blood sugar was associated with a 14 percent greater likelihood for a pancreatic carcinoma. This also applied to slightly elevated values in the range between 100 mg / dl and 125 mg / dl. However, such values do not mean that those affected already suffered from diabetes - only values of 126 mg / dl indicate an existing diabetes. In people with a healthy metabolism, the fasting measured values are 55 to 90 mg / dl
Fired tumor growth
The researchers suspect that increased blood sugar levels promote tumor growth in the pancreas - because these cancer cells need a lot of energy. However, increased insulin levels could increase the risk of cancer. Previous research has shown that insulin generally promotes the growth of tumors and at the same time inhibits programmed cell death, causing pathologically altered cells to subside before they form a tumor.
The hormone insulin is needed by the body to extract sugar from the blood into the cells. Higher blood sugar levels are therefore associated with higher insulin levels. Particularly high is the insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes or a pre-stage of it.
Around 16,000 people in Germany suffer from pancreatic cancer every year. Since he causes complaints only in the late stage, he is usually discovered late. The survival rate is correspondingly low.
Anyone can influence how high the blood sugar is: Regular exercise and a healthy diet keep sugar levels in check. (Cf)
Source: Wei-Chih Liao et al: Blood glucose concentration and risk of pancreatic cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis; BMJ 2015; 349: g7371