People with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the:
Diabetes and cancer also share many risk factors. People who are older, overweight, have an unhealthy diet, or who don’t exercise are more likely to develop both type 2 diabetes and many cancers.
There may be things about having diabetes that raise cancer risk. Doctors are trying to learn more about these. Talk with your doctor about when you should be tested for different types of cancer. Your age and gender will help determine what screenings are recommended.
Lower Your Risk
You can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Or, if you have type 2 diabetes, you can lower your risk for diabetes complications.
- Lose weight. Are you overweight? Even losing 7% of your body weight (15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) can make a big difference.
- Make healthy food choices. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products and lean meats. Watch your portion sizes.
- Stay active. Aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking or similar activity 5 days a week. Break it up into smaller portions, like 3 10-minute blocks, if that’s easier to fit into your day.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, never start.
- Alcohol. Drinking more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men raises risk for both diabetes and cancer.
Learn more about diabetes and cancer
- Visit diabetes.org/cancer.
- Email AskADA@diabetes.org.
- Call 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383).
- Find out what screenings are recommended based on your gender and age at everydaychoices.org.