Cancer and Diabetes

  • Bruno W. Volk
  • Klaus F. Wellmann


The relationship between cancer and diabetes has been discussed for many years. Despite the large number of studies conducted, no unanimity of opinion exists. Some investigators believe that cancer occurs more frequently in diabetics than in nondiabetics, with an incidence ranging from 3 to 10%.1–4b Others,5–7 using different figures, conclude that no association between these diseases exists. In 1934, Marble5 studied the records of 10,000 patients with proven diabetes. Among these, 256 (2.56%) had malignant disease. He also investigated the figures of insurance companies and felt that although certain evidence suggested that cancer was more common among diabetics, it was not possible to draw any definite conclusions. In a study of associated causes of death of persons dying of cancer, in Massachusetts, during a 10-year period, Wilson and Maher1 noted diabetes and cancer to occur together much more frequently than would be expected if the two diseases were independently studied. Ellinger and Landsman,2 in a survey of 1280 diabetic patients seen at Montefiore Hospital in New York City from 1933 to 1941, found 39 (3.04%) afflicted with malignant disease. This incidence of cancer was 6.5 times greater than that in the general population (0.46%) in New York State in 1941. Jacobson,3 using data from certificates and matched hospital case histories in New York, concluded that cancer is more common among diabetics than nondiabetics.


Pancreatic Carcinoma Endometrial Carcinoma Abnormal Glucose Tolerance Carbohydrate Tolerance Pancreatic Duct Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno W. Volk
    • 1
  • Klaus F. Wellmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of California Irvine Medical CenterOrangeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyState University of New York, Downstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA

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