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Diabetics are significantly more likely to develop cancer at some point in their lives, but new research suggests they may reduce their risk of receiving a positive colon cancer test if they take a medication known as metformin.
The drug is commonly used by diabetics to reduce blood sugar levels. It works by improving glucose tolerance and limiting the amount of glucose produced by the liver.
After examining the results of five previously conducted investigations in the benefits of metformin, a team of researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China found that diabetics who took it were 37 percent less likely to develop colon cancer.
The researchers said that some investigations have shown that metformin activates a gene known as LKB1. Some evidence has suggested that this gene suppresses tumor growth.
Diabetics should consider speaking with their physicians about whether or not starting a metformin therapy would be appropriate for their condition, the researchers. This may have the dual benefit of improving blood sugar management while reducing cancer risk.
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