I become more amazed each day with the way diseases are linked to each. We’ve talked many times about obesity and the link to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And we’ve talked about the link between diabetes and heart disease in the absence of obesity.

Today brings a new, very serious link between diabetes and colorectal cancer. The link from diabetes to cancer was often, in the past, seen as an aside to the link between obesity and cancer, but a new study is suggesting that isn’t necessarily the case.

Dr Andrew Flood, assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, said that, “In general, the idea is that if elevated insulin levels create a biochemical environment conducive to cancer growth, it provides one mechanism by which diet and lifestyle can really influence cancer risk”.

While this may be seen as heaping more bad news on those with type 2 diabetes, the truth is that the more these types of links are understood, the better the testing and prevention will be to keep one health issue from progressing into another. From a life insurance underwriting standpoint, I don’t believe a lot more needs to be said (although I likely will anyway) concerning the reason people with well controlled diabetes are rewarded with competitive, better than standard rates in many cases.

Bottom line. At times there probably really is the feeling that if you have one health problem, you are doomed to a life of wandering from disease to disease. Such is certainly not the case if you and your doctor take the situation seriously and stick to the treatment and make the lifestyle changes that can alter the course.

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