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From Bogota, Colombia:

I am a mother who developed type 2 diabetes after breast cancer. I also have a son who has had type 1 diabetes since January 2000. I would like to know if there is any relation between diabetes and the cancer and with hypothyroidism, because I have all of them at once. I would like to have someone who could help me to give me hope that sometimes you can not find in my country. We have some medical support but no real emotional support. The doctors always told me that diabetes is even worse than cancer, but now I have both and I have to raise my family with two kids. It's not easy.


I appreciate your feelings. However, it may be helpful to understand how these conditions may have evolved. First, any illness can increase your body's burden enough to bring out diabetes, if you already have the genetic (familial) tendency to be at risk for the condition. If steroids of any kind are used during the treatment, they are known to bring out a tendency for diabetes. The most important thing is that you know you have it so you can control the blood sugars. You will need some help from your physician to address the diabetes. You will also have to learn how to check your blood sugars. Hopefully, these resources are available to you.

The hypothyroidism often occurs if they have to give radiation therapy as the thyroid is often in the same region where the radiation is applied. The radiation would then be able to destroy the thyroid. This is fairly common in the patients we see here in the United States. The thyroid hormone replacement therapy that is needed is relatively easy to administer. I hope you have support around you to address these issues. They are manageable problems. However, they don't go away.


Original posting 12 Feb 2004
Posted to Other Illnesses and Thyroid


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