Diabetes mellitus is a common disease among patients with pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis, disorders of the exocrine pancreas. Different clinical features of diabetes are associated with these two conditions: hyperinsulinemia and peripheral insulin resistance are the prevailing diabetic traits in pancreatic cancer, whereas reduced islet cell mass and impaired insulin secretion are typically observed in chronic pancreatitis. Whether or not a causal relationship exists between diabetes and pancreatic carcinoma is an intriguing but unanswered question. Diabetes often precedes pancreatic cancer and is thus regarded as a potential risk factor for malignancy. Conversely, pancreatic cancer may secrete diabetogenic factors. Given these findings, there is increasing interest in whether close monitoring of the glycemic profile may aid early detection of pancreatic tumor lesions.