HealthDay News ‐ Female patients with diabetes may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, study findings published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment suggest.

To examine the impact of diabetes at breast cancer diagnose as a possible reason for higher mortality, Lorraine Lipscombe, MD, of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues analyzed data from 38,407 women aged 20 to 105 years. The participants were all diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2007 and 2012. Nearly 16% of the women had diabetes. 

The women with diabetes were 14% more likely to have stage II breast cancer, 21% more likely to have stage III breast cancer, and 16% more likely to be have stage IV breast cancer, compared with having stage I breast cancer. Five-year survival for breast cancer patients with diabetes was 15% lower than for those without diabetes. 

The researchers also found that breast cancer patients with diabetes were more likely to have larger tumors and cancer that had spread, compared with those without diabetes. Lower mammogram rates were seen in women with diabetes, which could account for later-stage disease, noted the investigators. 

“Our findings suggest that women with diabetes may be predisposed to more advanced-stage breast cancer, which may be a contributor to their higher cancer mortality,” said Lipscombe, MD, in a hospital news release.

Breast cancer screening and detection methods may need to be modified for women with diabetes in order to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with advanced cancer, added Lipscombe.


  1. Lipscombe L et al. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2015; dpi: 10.1007/s10549-015-3323-5