Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2013, Article ID 583786, 16 pages
Review Article

Diabetes and Risk of Cancer

1Department of Geriatric, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, South Texas Veterans Healthcare System, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
2Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
3Faculty of Medicine, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum at Bydgoszcz, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Bydgoszcz, Poland

Received 24 December 2012; Accepted 9 January 2013

Academic Editors: Y. Akiyama and G. Metro

Copyright © 2013 Samy L. Habib and Maciej Rojna. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diabetes and cancer represent two complex, diverse, chronic, and potentially fatal diseases. Cancer is the second leading cause of death, while diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death with the latter still likely underreported. There is a growing body of evidence published in recent years that suggest substantial increase in cancer incidence in diabetic patients. The worldwide prevalence of diabetes was estimated to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. About 26.9% of all people over 65 have diabetes and 60% have cancer. Overall, 8–18% of cancer patients have diabetes. In the context of epidemiology, the burden of both diseases, small association between diabetes and cancer will be clinically relevant and should translate into significant consequences for future health care solutions. This paper summarizes most of the epidemiological association studies between diabetes and cancer including studies relating to the general all-site increase of malignancies in diabetes and elevated organ-specific cancer rate in diabetes as comorbidity. Additionally, we have discussed the possible pathophysiological mechanisms that likely may be involved in promoting carcinogenesis in diabetes and the potential of different antidiabetic therapies to influence cancer incidence.