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November 5, 2000

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada:

I have had type 1 diabetes for 37 years. I am now 47 years of age. Three years ago, I was diagnosed as having colon cancer. There is no family history of cancer of any kind in my family (grandparents, parents, siblings), although there are several cases of diabetes. I had a friend who also had type 1 diabetes. She died from colon cancer the day before my surgery for the same type of cancer. She was 42 years of age. Do you know of any connection between diabetes and cancer? Granted, this may be a coincidence, but at diagnosis, we were both at an age when we would not normally be expected to develop colon cancer.

Answer:

I am not aware of any link between type 1 diabetes and colon cancer. In addition, I am not aware that people who acquire colon cancer do worse if they have type 1 diabetes.

JTL