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Is There a Connection Between Blood Sugar and Cancer?

As the number of people with high blood sugar conditions tops 29 million and cancer cases are expected to nearly double within the next two decades, it’s almost impossible not to wonder if there is a correlation between the two. Though researchers haven’t made definitive connections between high blood sugar and cancer, increasing awareness of possible links can only assist in further prevention. Below, Home Care Assistance of Santa Clarita further elaborates on the possible connection between the two.


Diabetes is the group of metabolic diseases where the affected person has high blood glucose (high blood sugar). The disease is categorized in two groups: type 1 and type 2. A 2014 Denmark-based study shows that elevated cancer incidence is the same for both types. 


Numerous studies reflect that connections between cancer and high blood sugar vary between cancer types. When high blood sugar is present, risks for the following types of cancer double:

  • Liver Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Endometrial Cancer

Though the percentages aren’t as high with the following cancers, they also display an increased likelihood of 20-50 percent when high blood sugar is present:

  • Blood Cancers (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma)
  • Breast Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer

Common Risk Factors

Cancer and high blood sugar share common risk factors including obesity, inactivity, age, gender, and smoking habits, all of which play significant roles in the development of both conditions. Particular factors to note are:

– Men are shown to have an increased risk of developing both conditions. 
– Likelihood increases as we age. 
– Risk for both conditions increase where obesity is also present.
– Smoking, long known as a cancer cause, is also shown as a factor in developing high blood sugar.

Until absolute links can be made, being aware of these already established connections can help assist in prevention and decrease risk for both conditions.

As with many health issues, the best method of protection is prevention. To learn more about promoting senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Through our hourly and live-in home care in Santa Clarita, we help seniors maintain a high quality of life. Call us at 661.259.9914 and speak with an experienced Care Manager today.