People suffering from diabetes mellitus are at greater risk of contracting colorectal cancer, a new study by researchers at the University of California claims. 

However, they were not able to clearly state the reason for this connection nor have they predicted any remedy to treat or avoid this form of cancer, commonly known as bowel cancer.

Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley combined the results of 14 international studies and found that people with diabetes were 38 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than those who were diabetes-free.

They found that diabetes was associated with an increased risk of colon cancer in both men and women. However, the risk of rectal cancer was 20 percent higher in men.

This data suggests that diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor for colon and rectal cancer, said Hiroki Yuhara, the lead researcher in the study. According to Yuhara, people with diabetes should be aware of the risk of contracting colon cancer and follow their doctor's advice and screen themselves for the cancer.

The researchers have also recommended that the doctors be aware of an increased colorectal cancer risk in patients who smoke and are obese; more so, in fact, than the ones who have diabetes.

According to an American Cancer Society report, it is estimated that just over 101,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011; while almost 40,000 could have rectal cancer.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, states that diabetes has been associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer but does not prove that diabetes mellitus directly contributes to colon cancer in some people.