Diabetes could be a warning sign of cancer, a new study suggests.The research found 50 per cent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes the previous year.The study of nearly 1 million patients in Italy and Belgium was led by the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, with findings presented at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam Among those who already had type 2 diabetes, a deterioration in the condition was linked to a seven-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with the cancer, which is one of the most deadly.Links been pancreatic cancer and diabetes have previously been found. Doctors and their diabetic patients should be aware that the onset of diabetes or rapidly deteriorating diabetes could be the first sign of hidden pancreatic cancerAlice Koechlin, from the International Prevention Research Institute “We now need the work developing early diagnostic tests to catch up so that we can make use of this information as soon as possible.” Obesity is fuelling rising cases of diabetes in the UKCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Researchers said more needs to be done to develop earlier tests for pancreatic cancer so that those at extra risk – such as those newly diagnosed with diabetes – could undergo screening.Alice Koechlin, from the International Prevention Research Institute said: “Doctors and their diabetic patients should be aware that the onset of diabetes or rapidly deteriorating diabetes could be the first sign of hidden pancreatic cancer, and steps should be taken to investigate it.”She said more work was needed to attempt to identify pancreatic cancer before symptoms were present.“There is currently no good, non-invasive method for detecting pancreatic cancer that is not yet showing any visible signs or symptoms. We hope that our results will encourage the search for blood markers indicating the presence of pancreatic cancer, which could guide decisions to perform a confirmation examination like endoscopy,” she said. Maggie Blanks, chief executive of national charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund welcomed the findings.She said: “The association between pancreatic cancer and type 2 diabetes has been an area of interest to researchers for several years, so it’s great to see studies generating new and potentially very valuable information which could alert clinicians to the need for further investigation in certain patients. Show more The pancreas creates insulin, and type 2 diabetes is caused when the body does not use the hormone properly, creating insulin resistance. Experts said it was possible that the treatment for diabetes increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, or that the cancer caused the increased risk of diabetes. While diabetes is extremely common, with more than 3.5 million cases in the UK, pancreatic cancer remains relatively rare, with around 10,000 diagnoses annually.