Doctors recommend that diabetics undergo regular cancer screenings because not only are they at greater risk of developing kidney and circulatory disease, they are also at greater risk of developing tumors.
Colon cancer is 30 percent more common in diabetics than in people without the disease, according to Germany's Professional Association for Internists in Wiesbaden. Especially affected are patients with type 2, or adult onset, diabetes.
Professor Reiner Hartenstein of the Association recommends that diabetics get tested when they hit 50 and have one every five years. Also, a regular check for blood in the stool can lead to early detection of tumors in the stomach or intestine.
The reason for the higher risk of cancer in diabetics is unknown. A possible explanation is that both diabetes and cancer are fostered by unhealthy diet and overweight, says Hartenstein.