Oncologists have called diabetes a precursor to pancreatic cancer

Melinda Thach of Ames, a volunteer for the Des Moines affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, says 80-percent of cancer research dollars comes from the federal government.

"This study provides the most comprehensive data to date supporting genetic testing for all pancreatic cancer patients", noted senior study investigator Fergus Couch, Ph.D. chair of the division of experimental pathology and laboratory medicine at The Mayo Clinic.

According to a release from Mayo Clinic, the study involved 3,000 pancreatic cancer patients who were seen at Mayo Clinic between 2000 and 2016.

Recent-onset diabetes was strikingly higher among pancreatic cancer cases (16.4 percent) compared with those with colorectal (6.7 percent), breast (5.3 percent), and prostate (5.5 percent) cancer.

A new study indicates that early type 2 diabetes can be an expression of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most unsafe cancers, with five-year survival rate is only 8 percent.

"The researchers acknowledged that this testing method relying on "molecular barcodes" could be a study limitation, as it only captures a snapshot of the genome: "...[T] he custom panel of 21 genes used in this study did not account for all predisposition genes, and the possibility remains that other untested genes may contribute to risk of pancreatic cancer", the researchers wrote. "There are very few studies on diabetes and pancreatic cancer that include Latinos and African-Americans", says the study's lead author, V. Wendy Setiawan, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, in a statement. Diabetes has been proposed to be both a risk factor for and a effect of pancreatic cancer.

In this group, researchers were able to show blood sugars rise 30 to 36 months before the diagnosis of cancer. "It's important to note that not everyone who has these mutations will develop pancreatic cancer, but the researchers' findings suggest a value to monitoring these affected individuals through screening programs".

Six genes entail mutations that may be handed down in families considerably expanding a person's possibility of pancreatic cancer.

Diabetes was associated with an approximately twofold increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Prior to this study, little was known about identifying which patients were at risk for heritable genetic links to pancreatic cancer, a disease with a five-year survival of just 9 percent. This finding is significant in part because the data suggest that family members should have DNA testing to understand their risk for cancer. "Importantly, here we show that the association of recent-onset diabetes with pancreatic cancer is observed in African Americans and Latinos, two understudied minority populations".

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