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A Win-Win: Tips to Manage Your Diabetes and Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

According to health experts, women with type 2 diabetes have an approximate 20 to 30% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared with women who don’t have diabetes. This might be because some of the same factors that increase diabetes risk—being older, being overweight or obese, eating a poor-quality diet, and not getting regular physical activity—are also linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. The good news, however, is that some of these overlapping factors are within our control and we can make daily choices, like the one's below, that not only help us better manage our diabetes, but also possibly reduce our risk of later developing breast cancer.

  • Manage your midsection. Being overweight is a risk factor for both type 2 diabetes and breast cancer; if you carry your extra weight in your midsection—called central adiposity—this is particularly strongly linked with a risk of both diseases.
  • Elevate exercise. Make regular physical activity a top priority. You don’t have to run a marathon; even brisk walking for 30 minutes daily can improve your health and blood glucose control.
  • Dial in your diet. Diabetes experts agree that there are a number of dietary patterns that can improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes, from a paleo plan to a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet, low glycemic index diet, or a low-fat vegan diet. Work with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) or a registered dietitian, to find the diet plan that meets your health goals and makes you happy.

Source: British Journal of Cancer

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