Pancreatic cancer testing indicated at diabetes onset

NEWLY diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients are at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer and should be screened for it, an expert has argued.

The call comes with the publication of a US telephone survey of 400,000 people, which showed men with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) had a nearly fivefold higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than men without diabetes. The risk for women was 2.5 times higher.

Rates of prostate cancer were 10% higher, colon cancer 30% higher and rectal cancer 20% higher in men with diabetes.

Women with diabetes had 10% higher rates of breast cancer, 60% higher rates of endometrial cancer and double the rate of leukaemia than women without diabetes.

Professor Ross Smith, pancreatic surgeon at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, said the study highlighted the need for pancreatic cancer screening but added that CT scans and endoscopic ultrasounds were labour-intensive.

“A 45-year-old-plus