When people with Type 2 diabetes are diagnosed with cancer -- a disease for which they are at higher risk -- they ignore their diabetes care to focus on cancer treatment, according to new Northwestern Medicine® research. But uncontrolled high blood sugar is more likely to kill them and impairs their immune system's ability to fight cancer.
However, people with Type 2 diabetes who received diabetes education after a cancer diagnosis were more likely to take care of their blood sugar. As a result, they had fewer visits to the emergency room, fewer hospital admissions, lower health care costs, and they tested their blood sugar levels more often than people who didn't have the education. They also had more hemoglobin a-1c level tests at their doctor's offices. The latter is a critical marker of how well someone has managed her diabetes and blood sugar over the last three months.
"People with diabetes hear cancer and they think that it is a death sentence, so who cares about diabetes at this point?" said June McKoy, M.D., director of geriatric oncology at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. "But if they're not careful, it's the diabetes that will take them out of this world, not the cancer. That's why this education is so critical when cancer comes on board. Patients must take care of both illnesses."
McKoy, also an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, is the senior author of the study recently published in the journal Population Health Management. Lauren Irizarry, a fourth-year medical student at Feinberg, is the lead author.
Uncontrolled high blood sugar can result in kidney damage and failure as well as blindness and amputation of the feet as blood vessels are damaged by excess sugar. In addition, Type 2 diabetes dampens the immune system and hampers the body's ability to fight cancer.
"If you are not taking good care of your diabetes, your cancer suffers, too," added McKoy.
People with diabetes have a higher incidence of liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer and endometrial cancer.
For the study, researchers examined five years of health records for 166,000 commercial insurance patients and 56,000 Medicare Advantage patients. They found 65.2 percent of cancer patients who received diabetes education had their hemoglobin a-1c tested at least twice, and 88 percent had it tested at least once over three years. The numbers were significantly lower for patients who did not receive diabetes education; 48 percent of that group had hemoglobin a-1c tested twice and 78 percent had it tested once over a period of three years. Ideally, hemoglobin a-1c should be tested every four months.
The group who received diabetes education had 416 emergency room visits over three years compared to 463 who did not receive the education. In addition, the educated group had 658 hospital admissions and the uneducated had 883 admissions.
The diabetes education sessions were twice a week for four to six weeks."If you don't have the power of education, you are flailing in the wind," McKoy said. "You have to get this information and physicians really need to be information brokers for our patients. Having diabetes and then getting cancer can be overwhelming."
Marla Paul | EurekAlert!
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News