Focus needed on bowel cancer screening in men with diabetes

MEN with diabetes are at high risk of bowel cancer and should be treated as if they have a familial risk, an expert says.

Population based data presented at the Australian Diabetes Society’s annual meeting showed that men with diabetes aged 55–84 had an 87% increased incidence of colorectal cancer compared with the general population.

Study leader Professor Timothy Davis, from the school of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Western Australia, said the data, from 1500 participants in the Fremantle Diabetes Study, suggested there was a strong case for regular colorectal cancer screening in men with diabetes.

“I think maybe the equivalent would be would be that those sorts of patients, especially males, should be treated as people who have a family history of bowel cancer,” he said.

Professor Davis suggested men with diabetes in this age group may be best served by annual faecal occult blood tests and a