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Colon cancer and diabetes

Posted: Thu May 25, 2023 4:27 pm
by pantufla
Hello everyone,

My husband had a good-sized bleed in November 2022. He is just now getting around to going to doctors' offices. He has a colonoscopy on June 12. He just got back results from routine blood work which showed a glucose of 350 and an A1C of 12. An umbilical hernia was also found for which he needs to contact the surgeon. How does diabetes effect colon cancer?
Thank you. :)

Re: Colon cancer and diabetes

Posted: Thu May 25, 2023 8:36 pm
by Rock_Robster
Hello, I’m sorry I’m not aware of direct links between colon cancer and diabetes, however I understand diabetes and the use of drugs like metformin can make cancer imaging more difficult (CT, PET etc.) due to the contrast and methods used. However there are generally workarounds available for this.

Obviously it’s also important that the diabetes remains well-managed to ensure the patient is fit for other treatments (surgeries, etc.) without a higher risk of complications.

Good luck, Rob

Re: Colon cancer and diabetes

Posted: Sat May 27, 2023 2:56 pm
by zephyr
It's my understanding that metformin is often prescribed off-label for cancer patients to help block glucose pathways. I'm not a doctor but it seems to me that if glucose levels are important enough to prescribe metformin off-label as part of cancer treatment, anyone with diabetes should be extra vigilant about keeping glucose under control. Maybe someone with more knowledge can chime in here...

Re: Colon cancer and diabetes

Posted: Sat May 27, 2023 4:29 pm
by pantufla
That's so interesting. I never knew that. I hope the doctor can convince him to take it.

Re: Colon cancer and diabetes

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2023 3:15 pm
by behconsult
I am sorry that it is another challenge to deal with. I am a diabetic. The A1C level of 12 is dangerous. There isn't the concern with metformin with imaging and contrast as in the past. They used to have you dc the metformin. Now they don't. It changed about 2-3 years ago. I am sure some hospitals follow the old protocol. They do look at kidney functioning i.e, protein levels and creatinine.

Contrast in CT's and PET scans provide sugar (glucose) that the Cancer gobbles up quickly, that also allows it to be seen on scans There is a boatload of research on diabetes and cancer.

He needs to be aggressive with his blood sugar (BS) management. Being on chemo and a diabetic sometimes makes it more a challenge. If I may, he needs a connection with endocrinology. He also might see if insurance pays for the Libre system of monitoring (no more finger sticks and is accurate; except for 1st and last day before it expires (14 day usage). The unregulated management of his BS makes him feel even worse that becomes a vicious cycle, e.g, "I feel like shit so why care." Comfort eating is understandable when you have CA. All the best. Bob

Re: Colon cancer and diabetes

Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2023 11:40 pm
by pantufla
Thanks for the response Bob. He won't go on metformin. The doctor wouldn't argue with him. I'm actually not sure the CC is back. He had the rectal bleed in November 2022 and wouldn't go in to the GI doc until recently. His colonoscopy is June 12. Hopefully he'll change his tune if he needs chemo again.

Re: Colon cancer and diabetes

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2023 5:57 pm
by pantufla
Only 4 polyps on colonoscopy. He needs a CT still.