Prostate Cancer and Diabetes, two health problems that may seem unrelated. Instead something unimaginable appears.
Let’s find out together what has “confused” some researchers: perhaps until now the approach to the most common disease among male subjects was “wrong”.
We know that prostate cancer is unfortunately among the most common, and the trend is that of increasing cases. To date, this type of neoplasm represents 20% of all tumors diagnosed in subjects from the 50 years of age. Not only that: there are also Regions in Italy where men get sick more: most of the cases occur at Northern Italy (1,428 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the North-West, 1,395 in the North-East); in the Center there are around 1,000 cases and in the South “only” 588.
The mortality rate of this type of tumor is around 25%, with a 75% chance of cure. Of course, prostate cancer can be more difficult to treat if you have comorbidity, or if there are other diseases in progress. So let’s find out the relationship with type 2 diabetes and what scientists have understood.
Why is prostate cancer and what does diabetes have to do with it
Science has always studied the mechanisms that cause tumors to arise, including prostate cancer. To date we know that it is impossible to predict 100% whether we will get sick or not, but we can keep some risk factors under control. Prostate cancer can develop due to genetic predisposition, but together with this randomness we find others:
- elevated testosterone levels;
- old age;
- alcohol consumption/abuse; smoke;
- high-calorie and high-fat diet, red meats and ultra-processed foods;
Just as there are some factors that “help” the tumor to develop, there are lifestyles and eating habits that protect health. In fact, Science always tells us that to reduce the risk of prostate cancer we can:
- do regular physical activity; don’t demonize coffee (it seems to have a protective role against prostate cancer); ensure a correct intake of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, folic acid and vitamin B12. Finally, try to adopt a healthy diet based on vegetables and fruit, but also milk and green tea.
Prostate cancer and diabetes, incredible what they discovered, unbelievable
It goes without saying that people who are overweight or have an unhealthy diet can develop Type 2 Diabetes more easily than others. We could think, therefore, that diabetes or other metabolic disorders favor the onset of prostate cancer.
A recent study, from 2022, wanted to further investigate the relationship between diabetes, obesity and prostate cancer. And what emerged from it is truly paradoxical.
“the metabolic syndrome (MetS), together with other factors such as obesity or hypertension, they increase the possibility of developing diabetes and/or brain and cardiovascular diseases“. And among other things it is related to the onset of prostate cancer. It even seems to allow the disease to become more aggressive.
Instead, paradoxically, the type 2 diabetes seems to have the opposite effect. In one study published in the National Library of Medicine the following is highlighted. “Diabetic patients and males with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer than patients without T2DMwith the addition that high-grade cancers are more common in individuals who do not have type 2 diabetes.”
So something unexpected, which goes against some of the scientific principles and which will certainly have to be investigated. A better understanding of the dynamics of cancer onset will help – together with early screening – to save more lives.