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[IPk] Brain tumours/pump holiday/Spirit

Well, I had my jolly old diabetes clinic visit this morning. My 
previous visit was last September, so they didn't know my tumour 
regrowth had happened, and that I had done 2 cycles of chemotherapy 
since then. So there was lots to talk about.

Then I said I was thinking of taking a pump holiday, as the skin on 
my abdomen is starting to look rather knackered, after 7 years of 
infusion sets in it. The consultant's response was interesting: he 
reckoned there was no clinical evidence of any approved insulins 
causing cancer (there is merely speculation that we haven't proved it 
doesn't cause cancer - which is subtly different). He explained that 
IF insulin was in anyway responsible for my tumour regrowth (and it's 
a big if), then long-acting insulin would be implicated in a bigger 
way than rapid-acting insulin like Humalog. I didn't follow his logic 
entirely, but he spoke well (!!!). He said if I were on MDI, and 
getting recurring brain tumours, there would be a strong case for 
putting me on a pump - so that I wasn't using long-acting insulin. As 
I'm already on a pump, he said stick with it: any change will 
possibly increase, rather than decrease, your risks. So there we are. 
I'm sticking with my pump (for now!).

And he reckoned as insulin doesn't cross the blood/brain barrier, it 
is most unlikely insulin could cause tumours in a brain. The insulin 
Novo abandoned as it caused tumours, was causing tumours elsewhere in 
the body, where there isn't this barrier to keep large cells out.

My clinic also has one of these new Disetronic Spirit pumps in for 
patients to try out. I can't believe my pump model could cause 
tumours - it only pushes insulin down a tube! - so they are keen for 
me to try out the Spirit in the next few weeks. More anon!

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