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People with Type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing breast, endometrial and bowel cancers. In the UK, cancer is now the most common cause of death among people with diabetes. Despite this, people with diabetes are less likely to participate in cancer screening which can improve survival from cancer. Health Care professionals are generally unaware of this association.

Based on research by Professor Laura Ashley, an intervention has been developed for practice nurses to highlight cancer screening at the annual diabetes review.  This is a key step in addressing this issue and this training resource will equip you in understanding and sharing this important information.

Access the training resource (video).


Dr Laura Ashley, a Reader in Health Psychology from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, led the research:

  • “The research showed that unfortunately there is low public awareness that Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing breast and bowel cancers. Awareness is low even among people with Type 2 diabetes who you would hope would be more aware. This may be due partly to limited information provision from diabetes care providers and organisations”.
  • “Our research showed that in general people are aware that Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of other conditions like sight loss and foot problems, but people with diabetes should also know about their increased cancer risk so they can make fully informed decisions about taking part in cancer screening”.
  • “Providing cancer risk information and promoting cancer screening could be brought more under the wing of shared diabetes care”.

Find out more about the research.


Dr Pawan Randev FRCGP MRCP(UK)

East Midlands Cancer Alliance CRUK Primary Care Lead

LLR ICB Cancer Lead