Causative relationship between diabetes mellitus and breast cancer in various regions of Saudi Arabia: an overview

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(3):589-92.


The unwarranted connection between diabetes mellitus and breast cancer has gained new ground in recent years. Breast cancer in Saudi females accounts for approximately 21% of all cancers and the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in Saudi females is also 21.5%. DM is diagnosed in the age group of 30+ years with possible exposure to predisposing factors like hyperinsulinemia and obesity at younger age. Further, 12% of the breast cancer cases are diagnosed in the young females aged 20-34 years. Despite the readily available access to healthcare facilities in the Kingdom, a large number of diabetics, approximately 27.9%, were unaware of having diabetes mellitus. This subpopulation is quite susceptible of developing breast cancer at later age. This review discusses common etiological and predisposing factors for breast cancer and diabetes, regional distribution and possible correlation of diabetes and cancer in Saudi Arabia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology