Pancreatic cancer risk

Does Type 1 diabetes increase the risk for pancreatic cancer? I can’t find much information on this.


I don’t know why it would. FWIW I’m nearing 60 years with Type 1 and my pancreas is otherwise fine. If it weren’t for that pesky insulin malfunction…


Thanks for replying. A relative raised this concern and I didn’t have an answer other than “I’m not worried, should I be?” Then, of course, I began to worry a bit … lol.

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I just had another thought (my ideas come in bits and pieces): while having Type 1 doesn’t mean you will get pancreatic cancer, if you have pancreatic cancer and have your pancreas removed, you will require external insulin. In my completely non-medical opinion I would say they got it backwards.

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73 years old, islet cells quit producing insulin more than 50 years ago and I feel great! T-Slim pump, G6 CGM, A1c in the low sixes. Nope, no pancreatic cancer. Don’t worry, just work on staying healthy!


Thanks for replying. And I will do my best!

That’s a good point. It does seem backwards!

Hello! Thank you for sharing your question. I’m so grateful for this forum … and the observations, questions, and experiences we can share. It is beyond helpful to me!

I am relatively new to this forum and haven’t contributed much (other than asking questions and reading topics). However, I believe I might be able to contribute something to this discussion! I am a health sciences librarian, and I teach health information & research skills. Evidence-based practice (which combines the best available external research with the patient’s context & the clinician’s expertise) is one area I’m knowledgeable about. So, I performed a thoughtful literature search, looking for external research evidence related to your question. Here’s what I discovered:

–Diabetes-related complications have declined during the past two decades (1999-2004 compared with 2005-2010). This is especially true for deaths related to cardiovascular or cardiac concerns. While a decrease in cancer-related deaths was also observed, the leading cause of death between 2005-2010 was malignant cancer (note: this finding is descriptive and does not imply a cause). To my understanding, these findings included all diabetes sub-groups. This was published in 2018, and it looked at secondary data from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey).

–Another article looking at secondary data from NHANES found that all-cause and cancer-related death rates were similar across diabetes sub-groups. This article (doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa628) was published in 2020. Side note: “doi” stands for digital object identifier, and it’s a way to find an article online. Simply copy/paste the number in a search browser.

–A review article published in 2018 suggested that T1D is associated with increased risk of several types of cancer, including pancreatic. Interesting to note, however, T1D was associated with decreased risk of breast cancer. This review used meta-analysis methods. It was published in a Japanese oncology journal. The digital object identifier for this article is doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyy047. Side note: The authors of the first two articles are affiliated with universities in East Asia.

Overall, from my preliminary search, an association between T1D and cancer isn’t well established. And rates of diabetes complications seem to be improving!!

I hope this helps. :slight_smile:


Thank you for sharing your research. It is helpful :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you Lisa @lmacuff for your research and for presenting this information. I am envious of your ready access to what might be the very best, most informed and expert information. In the short time that you have been present on this Forum, you have offered some relevant and much-needed insight.

Joy @TiJoy you may be looking at different conditions and jumping to find cause and effect relationship; in this case what you are calling “the effect” is a cause. What the ADA in its “Standards of Care” treatise for medical professionals for the care of people with diabetes includes in its category 3 of Diabetes Classifications as cause of diabetes is pancreatitis including pancreatic cancer. [ADA Classification 3. is posted below]. On a personal note, during the seven decades in which I’ve lived with autoimmune diabetes I’ve had two separate cancer conditions, neither of them do I blame on diabetes.

Note: 3. Specific types of diabetes due to other causes, e.g., monogenic diabetes syndromes (such as neonatal diabetes and maturity-onset diabetes of the young), diseases of the exocrine pancreas (such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis), and drug- or chemical-induced diabetes (such as with glucocorticoid use, in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, or after organ transplantation)

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Thanks Dennis. I was curious because of my relative’s question. I appreciate you guys’ replies. :slight_smile:

Thank you @Dennis, for your kind words. I hope you know how much you have encouraged me!

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