15 February 2011

Diabetics May Be Getting Second Rate Care

This article is very disturbing. It has to do with women with breast cancer and also diabetes. So I am asking you to think, can this apply to all cancers and diabetes. The findings were published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This suggests future research could focus on whether high levels of insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes could play a role in promoting tumor growth.

The researchers who conducted the review also found that diabetics tend to be diagnosed with later-stage breast cancers and to receive altered, potentially less effective treatment regimens. This sends shivers up my spine. If this happens for women with breast cancer, who else with cancer and diabetes gets treated like this?

Kimberly S. Peairs, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says "This research suggests we may need to proactively treat the diabetes as well as the cancer." She also suggests “that diabetics diagnosed with breast cancer may get less effective treatment because practitioners may be concerned about these patients suffering more side effects from chemotherapy or radiation treatments as a result of the metabolic condition.”

The research also shows breast cancer patients are nearly 50 percent more likely to die of any cause if they also have diabetes. Dr Peairs is less than complementary about the reasons women with diabetes get possible poor care. She says more research is needed to reveal whether increased insulin production in people with Type 2 diabetes contributes to worse outcomes among breast cancer patients.

There are some studies that do suggest poor outcomes with some diabetes drugs for cancer patients and that other medications may actually improve survival. Metformin is one such drug which makes diabetes patients more insulin-sensitive and thereby lowering the amount of unused insulin in the body.

Read the article here and from the second one here.

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