Diabetes mellitus among cancer survivors

Charles J. Stava, Martha L. Beck, Lei Feng, Adriana Lopez, Naifa Busaidy, Rena Vassilopoulou-Sellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Cancer and cancer treatments are associated with diabetes mellitus in some patients. The purpose of this review is to look at the association and potential impact of diabetes mellitus on the health profiles of a large cohort of cancer survivors. This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study of long-term cancer survivors who reported that they have diabetes. Of 8,559 respondents to a mailed survey, 696 (8.1%) reported diabetes mellitus (DM). We analyzed the responses to discern the potential impact of demographics, cancer type, or disease treatments on glycemia as well as the potential impact of DM on socioeconomic parameters (education, family and work). Survivors of gynecological cancer, chronic leukemia, or gastrointestinal cancer reported DM most frequently, although no statistical correlations could be demonstrated for DM and specific cancer types. The frequency of DM was higher among survivors than in the general U.S. population. Cancer survivors with DM were more likely to report that cancer affected their overall health (42.3 vs. 34.3%) and ability to work. They also reported more health problems. Diabetes mellitus affects a minority of long-term cancer survivors and may have an impact on their physiologic and psychosocial well-being. Systematic assessment for DM is suggested for all cancer survivors because DM appears to be an important co-morbidity for this growing segment of our population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Cancer survivorship
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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