(HealthDay News) — Women with diabetes may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, according to a new study published online March 17 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

The researchers analyzed data from 38,407 women ages 20–105 who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2007–2012. Nearly 16% of the women had diabetes.

The researchers found that 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 to 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 to those without diabetes. Lower mammogram rates were seen in women with diabetes, which could account for later-stage disease, the researchers said.

“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,” Lorraine Lipscombe, MD, of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, said in a hospital news release. She and her colleagues said that 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.

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