October 26, 2004
Question from California, USA:
Is there a relationship between diabetes and pancreatic cancer? What percentage of people with diabetes end up with that particular cancer?
I know of no connection. Think about it: there are 20 million people with diabetes in a country of 300 million. Most of those are adults, so really 19 million among 160 million true adults at risk for pancreatic cancer. A few will get cancer, but I know of no etiologic relationship.
Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:
There is some old data that suggests that pancreatic cancer is slightly more common in a population with diabetes, but I know of no pediatric data about this. Also, not much that can be done since it is not likely related to blood glucose control.