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Type 2 diabetes may be an indication of pancreatic cancer

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SAN FRANCISCO — People who develop Type 2 diabetes after 60 are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, according to a study by US researchers.

The new study by the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Sunday.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers, with a five-year survival rate of only 8 percent because majority pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage.

The researchers studied the data of about 49,000 African-Americans and Latinos, two ethnic groups with a high rate of diabetes, and concluded that people diagnosed with diabetes between the ages of 65 and 85 were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer within three years as compared with people without diabetes.

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According to the study, latinos were fourfold more likely to develop pancreatic cancer within three years of a diabetes diagnosis, and African-Americans three times more likely.

“Because most people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed at a late stage, the five-year survival rate is low — about 8 percent. Identifying people who are at high risk early on could potentially save their lives,” said V Wendy Setiawan, associate professor of preventive medicine at Keck and lead author of the research.

The diagnosis of late-onset diabetes may offer an opportunity to screen high-risk groups with new tools such as liquid biopsy, a test that looks for cancer cells or DNA from cancer cells in the blood, Setiawan said.

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Suicide can’t be predicted by asking about suicidal thoughts : Study

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Most people who died of suicide deny they experience suicidal thoughts when asked by doctors in the weeks and months leading up to their death, a major Australian study has found.

The findings, co-authored by clinical psychiatrist and Professor Matthew Large from UNSW’s School of Psychiatry, Sydney that published in the journal BJPsych Open The meta-analysis challenge the widely-held assumption that psychiatrists can predict who will suicide by asking if they are preoccupied with thoughts of killing themselves.

The study showed that 80% of patients who were not undergoing psychiatric treatment and who died of suicide reported not to have suicidal thoughts when asked by their psychiatrist or GP.

“If you meet someone who has suicidal ideation there is a 98 per cent chance that they are not going to suicide,” said Professor Large, an international expert on suicide risk assessment who also works in the emergency department of a major Sydney hospital.

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“But what we didn’t know was how frequently people who go on to suicide have denied having suicidal thoughts when asked directly,” he added.

“This study proves we can no longer ration psychiatric care based on the presence of suicidal thoughts alone. We need to provide high-quality, patient-centred care for everyone experiencing mental illness, whether or not they reveal they are experiencing suicidal thoughts,” Professor Large said.

About one in 10 people will have suicidal ideation in their lifetime. But the study showed suicidal ideation alone was not rational grounds for deciding who gets treatment and who does not, Professor Large said.

“We know that suicide feeling is pretty common and that suicide is actually a rare event, even among people with severe mental illness,” Professor Large added.

Suicidal ideation tells us an awful lot about how a person is feeling, their psychological distress, sometimes their diagnosis and their need for treatment but it’s not a meaningful test of future behaviour.

Suicidal feelings can fluctuate rapidly and people may suicide very impulsively after only a short period of suicidal thoughts.

But, people had good reasons not to disclose thoughts of suicide, fearing stigma, triggering over-reactions or upsetting family and friends, and being involuntarily admitted for psychiatric treatment, Professor Large said.

Professor Large emphasized that clinicians should not assume that patients experiencing mental distress without reporting suicidal ideas were not at elevated risk of suicide.

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