Metformin May Lower Cancer Risk
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Metformin is a widely used drug over the past 60 years to treat and prevent type 2 diabetes. In more recent years, Metformin has also received increasing attention for its many other benefits, including a lower risk of various types of cancer.
How is this possible? It comes down to decreasing glucose and insulin levels. Insulin is responsible for moving glucose out of the blood and into cells, as well as helping new cells grow. Cancer occurs when new cells grow excessively or abnormally (e.g. a tumor), which, in some cases, may be stimulated by too much insulin. Tumor cells are also known to use large amounts of glucose to grow quickly. Therefore, high glucose levels can also accelerate the growth of cancer cells. Historically, this may be why people with higher than normal levels of insulin and/or glucose may be at a greater risk of developing cancer.
Metformin helps improve sensitivity to insulin and helps to reduce production of glucose by the liver—both of which can help to reduce the amount of insulin the body needs to produce. This reduces the chance of higher than normal insulin levels and, as evidenced in rodent testing, has been shown to impede the growth of cancer cells.
A comprehensive list of published research studies and clinical trials supporting Metformin’s effectiveness in preventing cancer risk and, in some cases, even specific cancer types is listed below for further consideration:
A retrospective study of 62k patients in the UK: “Metformin use was associated with lower risk of cancer of the colon or pancreas..."
A representative population study of 800k individuals: "Metformin can reduce the incidences of several gastroenterological cancers..."
A study conducted at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center involving 973 patients and 863 controls: "Metformin use was associated with reduced risk of pancreatic cancer..."
A retrospective study of 3,800 men conducted in Ontario, Canada: "Increased cumulative duration of metformin exposure after Prostate Cancer diagnosis was associated with decreases in both all-cause and Prostate Cancer-specific mortality..."
A study involving 1,300 patients in the Netherlands: "Metformin use was associated with lower cancer mortality compared with non users..."
A case-control study of 450K US veterans who underwent colonoscopy between 1999 and 2014: "Metformin was associated with a 14% statistically significant reduced rectal cancer odds ..."
With support of the above, Care Oncology, as well as other oncologists worldwide, prescribe Metformin to treat cancer and "deprive cancer of the nutrients it needs to grow and spread." To learn more, click here.
To learn more about Metformin research, click here.
To request a Metformin prescription, click here.
Note: Metformin has not been approved by the FDA for these uses, but multiple studies, as referenced above, have shown these benefits.