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Colon Cancer Linked to Mouth Infection, Gum Disease?

Colon Cancer Linked to Mouth Infection, Gum Disease?

08/14/13

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- An infection from a common type of mouth bacteria can contribute to colorectal cancer, a new study suggests.

The bacteria, called Fusobacterium nucleatum, can attach to colon cells and trigger a sequence of changes that can lead to colon cancer, according to the team at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

The researchers also found a way to prevent the bacteria from attaching to colon cells.

"This discovery creates the potential for new diagnostic tools and therapies to treat and prevent the cancer," lead investigator Yiping Han said in a university news release.

The findings show the importance of good oral health, said Han, a professor of periodontics. She noted that levels of F. nucleatumare much higher in people with gum disease.

Although the study found a possible association between oral infection and colon cancer, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The study was published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, which also contained another study from a different research group showing how F. nucleatumcan speed the accumulation of cancer cells.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines how to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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