Pancreatic Cancer Risk Indentified in Male Smokers with Insulin Resistance
A new study led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute shows that male smokers with elevated insulin levels — measured after an overnight fast — were twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as men with the lowest levels.
Schmalfeldt: A new study led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute shows that male smokers with elevated insulin levels — measured after an overnight fast — were twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as men with the lowest levels. Also, men with glucose levels in the range of clinical diabetes were twice as likely to develop the deadly form of cancer as men with normal levels. The study examined 29,000 male smokers in Finland. Dr. Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon of the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics was lead researcher in the study. She said that while these results are interesting, they are but a step in the journey of discovery towards understanding the causes of pancreatic cancer.
Stolzenberg-Solomon: It's too early for this study to have clinical applications, because first it needs to be replicated in another group that includes women and non-smokers. What it could mean, though, is that there are things you can do — lifestyle changes — that can decrease glucose and insulin concentrations like weight reduction, increasing physical activity, and changing your diet so it has less saturated fat. And doing those lifestyle changes not only could impact someone's pancreatic cancer risk, but other cancers and other chronic diseases, too. It's just a healthier way to be.
Schmalfeldt: It's estimated that almost 32,000 people in the United States will have died from pancreatic cancer in 2005. Only four percent of those with the disease survive five years past the diagnosis. The study appears in the December 14th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Dr. Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon