Oral Bacteria Linked to Colon Cancer

A new study at Columbia University, led by Dr. Yiping W. Han, establishes a link between common oral bacteria and development of colon cancer. The oral bacteria F. nucleatum is a primary factor in the development of plaque and periodontal disease. This study shows that it also plays an important role in accelerating the growth of aggressive oral health vector SM - dreamstimefree 13503595colon cancer. This knowledge is important in treating and preventing the second-leading cause of death in the U.S.

A related study discovered that one-third of all colorectal cancers were associated with F. nucleatum. Further, that the bacteria is responsible for creating a molecule called FasA adhesin, which appears to stimulate cancerous activity in colon cells. In addition, they found that a problematic protein, Annexin A1, is present in cancer-prone cells, but not in healthy colon cells. This protein fuels the growth of cancer. The oral bacteria F. nucleatum also encourages further growth of Annexin A1, in effect supercharging development of cancer cells.

It is hoped that this research will help in the understanding of the development of colon cancer and contribute to a treatment.

Your mouth is the gateway to your body, allowing bacteria, viruses, and more to travel to your organs. A clean and healthy mouth can prevent the growth and transmission of disease causing and promoting bacteria to reach other organs. Your best defense is a strong oral health regimen. Brush for 2 minutes twice daily, floss daily, and visit your dentist twice each year. You may want to add rinsing with mouthwash, as well.