Pancreatic Cancer and Sugar Diabetes

  • This review was prepared by Mark T. DeMeo, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


The link between pancreatic cancer and diabetes mellitus is well recognized. Controversy still exists, however, as to whether the pancreatic cancer is the cause of abnormal glucose metabolism or if hyperinsulinemia predisposes the person to pancreatic cancer. A recent article offers strong data supporting diabetes as a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Patients with abnormal glucose metabolism, as determined by elevated serum glucose 1 hour after an oral glucose challenge, were found to have an increased risk of developing pancreatic carcinoma even if patients dying from that disease during the first 5 years of follow-up were excluded from consideration.