It is estimated 45,750 deaths will occur this year from pancreatic cancer, a disease in which healthy cells in the pancreas stop working correctly and grow out of control.
The five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is only 9%, because the disease is so difficult to diagnose and is often not found until later stages.
At that time, the cancer has spread from the pancreas to other parts of the body.
In a study from Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, Korea, scientists found that high blood sugar is linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. One author is Cheol-Young Park, M.D., Ph.D., from the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, Korea.
They examined pancreatic cancer incidence in Korea according to blood sugar levels. Data were from a national cohort database of more than 25 million patients.
The team found that as blood sugar levels rose, the rate of pancreatic cancer strongly increased not only in diabetic patients, but also in those with pre-diabetes or normal range of blood sugar levels.
The risk of pancreatic cancer cases rose as fasting glucose levels increased. This is true in people who had diabetes as well as those who did not.
This finding suggests high blood sugar level is one of the big risk factors for pancreatic cancer.
The team says early detection of high blood sugar in health checkups can help detect pancreatic cancer earlier.
In addition, lifestyle changes that can improve blood sugar are very important for lowering cancer risk.
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