By DonnaAnn Latest Reply 2008-08-17 12:18:34 -0500
Started 2008-07-31 22:40:36 -0500

has anyone heard of secondary diabetes? My father ended up with this. He was diagnosed with cancer and then had diabetes. It is my understanding that secondary is caused by another illness, such as cancer. I was hoping to learn more about this.

6 replies

just4us3 2008-08-17 12:18:34 -0500 Report

I am NOT A DOCTOR , but I have had a lot of family members who have had cancer and diabetes , and many of them passed away from them, so let me tell you how the illnesses they had were labeled. The most severe ( the one you will pretty much die from) is the first . The other illnesses you have are listed under this one by how severe they are.

tmana 2008-08-01 08:53:23 -0500 Report

Depending on the type of cancer, it could affect the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin (e.g., pancreatic cancer) or the ability of the liver to respond correctly to low and high blood glucose levels (e.g., liver cancer), or something else entirely.
Sometimes gall-bladder cancer and/or pancreatic cancer require removal of part or all of the pancreas, leading to surgically-induced diabetes.

And then, there's always the potential for the chemical and radioactive agents used in radiation therapy and chemotherapy to either depress pancreatic function, or the body's ability to use insulin/glucose/etc.

butterfly_8 2008-08-04 02:32:08 -0500 Report

Wow Tmana ,
you really made a lot of sense there. So the answer is yes,it can cause many different kinds of cancer.
Thanks for the heads up.

kdroberts 2008-08-04 09:08:12 -0500 Report

No, diabetes doesn't cause cancer, cancer can "cause" diabetes. In the example, pancreatic cancer can mean the pancreas can't produce insulin. In that case the person who has it becomes, essentially, an insulin dependent diabetic even though they do not have the autoimmune part of type 1 or any part of type 2. It could also happen from severe trauma.

Another form of secondary diabetes is fro long term prednisone. It's a synthetic steroid that will raise your blood sugar in the short term for anyone but long term use, sometimes short term, can basically break you and turn you diabetic. That's a bit of a simplistic explanation, but the end result is diabetic treatment. It's unfortunate because some of the things it works for are worse than diabetes, even though they may not sound like it on paper, so you are kind of left between a rock and a hard place. Risk of diabetes vs extreme allergies that leave you almost unable to breath for example.

butterfly_8 2008-08-01 06:53:32 -0500 Report

I am interested to know the answer to that question. I know diabetes leads to complications. I wonder if one of those complications could be cancer

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