It has been found that diabetes prophylaxis can decrease mammographic density and thus concomitantly any chances of breast cancer risk.
Diabetes prevention whether by diet or pills such as metformin reduces mammographic density which is normally associated with breast cancer. However, taking insulin increases the chances of a breast tumor.
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Past data suggested that diabetes was linked with mammographic density. Over 5644 women were a part of the study. They received breast screening from 1993 to 2001. These women lived an average of 56 years. 137 of them had diabetes and 3180 had average or dense breast tissue.
Those who had diabetes were less likely to have average or dense breast tissue though. However, the obese women did have such an issue. An inverse relation was found in those who controlled their glucose levels via diet or pills.
But those who took insulin injections had a chance of mixed or dense breasts. This had nothing to do with BMI or the menopausal stage.
Thus diabetes which is thought to be associated with breast cancer has a more complex relation with the dreaded disease. The internal mechanisms responsible for the onset of breast cancer remain a mystery.
Cancer cells have an uncanny way of growing in a haphazard manner and resisting death as normal cells so. It is all a matter of growth. Insulin is involved in the growth of body tissues. It thus plays a role in cancer and especially breast tissue density.
The thousands of women who were studied were tracked throughout their lives. The effects of different diabetes treatments were gauged. Most of the factors were tallied. A larger and more comprehensive study will be carried out in the future.
Breast density is an important marker for cancer. Those women who have high breast densities have a greater chance of contracting breast cancer than those women who have a mammographic density less than 25%. Insulin and its links to mammographic density needs to be explored in depth.
There is no direct link. Correlation does not equal causation. There are too many factors at work here and they have to be teased apart before anything can be said with certainty.
Simple lifestyle changes have a potent effect on breast cancer prevention. Weight loss, abstention from liquor and making exercise a part of one’s daily life are just the basics.
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The insulin pathways that trigger such diseases are very complex and defy our human knowledge. It will take some time before the forces in the female body related to diabetes and breast cancer are fully understood.