Diabetics face a higher risk of mouth cancer, with women more at risk

Written by Jade Parker, Editor

Findings, recently published in Diabetologia, have highlighted that diabetic individuals are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, with women far more at risk.

The researchers found that women faced a 27% increase of developing any form of cancer if they had diabetes, while men also faced a 19% increased risk.

Nigel Carter (Oral Health Foundation) stated: “This could be a very significant piece of research, and one that could help to save lives. Diabetes has previously been linked to poor oral health, but this new research shows a specific link to mouth cancer. This makes regular dental visits an absolute must. If your dentists know that you are diabetic, they will check your mouth accordingly.”

“More people lose their lives to mouth cancer every year in Britain than from cervical and testicular cancer combined. Without early detection, the 5-year survival rate for mouth cancer is only 50% but if it is caught early, survival rates can dramatically improve to up to 90%, as well as the quality of life for survivors being significantly increased,” Carter added.

Sources: Ohkuma, T, Peters, S and Woodward, M Sex differences in the association between diabetes and cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 121 cohorts including 20 million individuals and one million events. Diabetologia. (2018) doi:10.1007/s00125-018-4664-5 (Epub ahead of print); www.dentalhealth.org/news/diabetics-face-a-higher-risk-of-mouth-cancer-with-women-far-more-at-risk