Doctor finds a link between diabetes and blood cancers

Dr. Jorge Castillo is a doctor at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

He specializes in treating blood cancers.

“The link between cancer is an evolving matter,” he says.

Castillo says previous studies have linked diabetes to an increased risk in colon, stomach and pancreatic cancers.

He was interested in the link between diabetes and blood cancers, so Castillo and some colleagues analyzed 26 previously published research articles.

“Our study was based on 17,000 cases, which is a large study, and basically shows that patients with diabetes and we focused specifically on diabetes, type 2, which is the most common type of diabetes. Probably 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes are type 2 and we saw that by having that diagnosis of diabetes that the risk of having blood cancers increased by approximately 20 to 25 percent,” Castillo says.

Castillo found the study included all blood cancers except Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Castillo’s findings are published online in the American Hematology Journal.

While more research is needed, he said, by taking steps to prevent type 2 diabetes could translate into 7,000 fewer blood cancer cases.

Castillo says about 150,000 people are diagnosed with leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia each year.

Thanks to new targeted therapies, more patients are living longer or being cured.

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