Dr. Kirstin De Bruijn, a doctoral student in the surgery department at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 20 trials that had taken place between 2007-12, involving more than 1.9 million patients with breast or colon cancer, with or without diabetes.
The researchers found patients with diabetes had a 23 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer and a 38 percent increased risk of dying from the disease compared with non-diabetic patients.
Diabetics had a 26 percent increased risk of developing colon cancer and a 30 percent increased risk of dying from it compared with non-diabetic patients, the study said.
"The results for breast and colon cancer incidence in patients with diabetes are consistent with other meta-analyses," De Bruijn said in a statement.
Furthermore, this meta-analysis showed a higher risk and a stronger association between diabetes and death from breast and colon cancer than previously reported, De Bruijn said.
"Cancer patients who are obese and diabetic are an already more vulnerable group of individuals when it comes to surgery, as they have an increased risk of developing complications both during and after surgery," De Bruijn said.
"Studies have already highlighted the increased risk of developing cancer for diabetics. Our meta-analysis, provides stronger evidence for the association between diabetes and the risk of developing and dying from these cancers."