The Link Between Diabetes and Breast Cancer

By on June 27, 2012

Diabetes and cancer have preoccupied public health professionals and strained national budgets for years. Both diseases are associated with complications that may adversely affect quality of life. Both share risk factors such as age, smoking, weight gain, and a diet poor in fruits and vegetables.

Recent studies indicate, however, that the two may be linked in even closer ways than previously thought.

It is estimated that 7% of the adult U.S. population has Type 2 diabetes. The most predominant type of diabetes, Type 2 accounts for 90% of all diabetes diagnoses. A full 15% of the adult population over the age of 60 has Type 2 diabetes.

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Perhaps the most staggering statistic is that between 16% and 20% of all women with breast cancer have diabetes. The percentage of breast cancer patients with previously undiagnosed or underdiagnosed diabetes may be as high as 30%.

Published studies evaluating the effect of preexisting diabetes on breast cancer outcomes have found a 49% increase in the risk of death for diabetic women with breast cancer compared to non-diabetic women with the disease.

Several factors may contribute to the increased risk of death in diabetic breast cancer patients. These include delayed cancer diagnosis, sub-optimal cancer treatments, high levels of insulin in the bloodstream, diabetic medications, and the adverse effects of diabetes-related problems. Because diabetics are often overweight, this may hamper breast cancer diagnosis as early signs of breast cancer may be missed. There are other metabolic changes that may also contribute to cancer being more aggressive in diabetics, as well.

Research is ongoing, and going forward we will learn more about how blood sugar levels, stress hormones, and even various treatments affect cancer.

In the meantime, the first line of defense is obviously to avoid the behavior that might lead to Type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a proper diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and staying active can – along with regular cancer screenings –help those who are at risk avoid developing diabetes in the first place.

For more information, see your doctor, or visit

Wonderful Teamwork packing the Bffl Bags

Last October, Dr. Thompson launched Bffl Co. – Best Friends for Life – and its first product, the Bffl Bag, a friend-to-friend care bag dedicated to improving the patient experience after surgery. The nylon duffle bags contain medical, comfort, personal care, gift products, the axilla pillow, SkinCeuticals, as well as important papers, cards and logs. The idea was for people to send a Bffl Bag instead of flowers to a friend facing surgery.

Bffl Co. has also launched a collection of radiation, reconstruction and mastectomy bras under its new brand, Masthead. We feel these are the best new bras for breast reconstruction

The response has been tremendous. Dr. Thompson has been overwhelmed by the feedback from women who’ve insisted the bags were “a life-saver,” and from hospital staff members who report the huge improvement in patient outlook. Currently there are four types of Bffl bags, The Breast Cancer Recovery Bag, The Double Mastectomy Bag, The Bag for Traumatic Brain Injuries, and the GYN bag for Women’s Cancers.

The waterproof bag designed by Stephanie Johnson, is also available on its own, as a great weekend, workout bag

Bffl bag filled $100.00

Bffl bag on its own $55.00

15% – 20% of the net profit from your purchase will benefit a health related charity. You will find all the information at the Bffl Co. e-commerce and informational website



Originally posted on Bffl Co.

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The Link Between Diabetes and Breast Cancer