Postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, a new study shows.
According to the study published in the British Journal of Cancer
, postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes had a 27% increased risk of breast cancer.
The research team of the International Preventation Research Institute studied some 40 distinct researches on more than 56,000 breast cancer sufferers from the four continents.
The results unraveled the existence of a potential correlation between type 2 diabetes and breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
The study researchers however demonstrated that such a link does not exist in premenopausal women or those with type 1 diabetes.
“Our study found a significantly increased risk of breast cancer in women who had diabetes, which was restricted to those of post-menopausal age,” said president of the International Prevention Research Institute and lead author of the study Professor Peter Boyle.
"We don't yet know the mechanisms behind why type 2 diabetes might increase the risk of breast cancer,” he also noted.
While obesity, as an important risk factor for both type 2 diabetes and breast cancer, may play a role in this regard, researchers suggest a direct biological link between type 2 and breast cancer in postmenopausal women that is independent of obesity.
Maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise as well as reducing the intake of alcohol can help reduce one’s risk of developing breast cancer, researchers recommend.