Mouth bacteria linked to esophageal cancer

This research was originally published in 2017 by Catharine Paddock, Ph.D. 

We have curated this article as a reference point for The Larkin Protocol.


An analysis of microbes sampled from the mouths of more than 120,000 people has found that two types of bacteria that lead to gum disease are also linked to higher risk of esophageal cancer.

The study — led by NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York, NY — also reveals that some types of mouth bacteria are linked to lower risk of esophageal cancer.

Reporting in the journal Cancer Research, the researchers note that they ruled out potential effects from smoking, alcohol, and body mass index (BMI) when they analyzed the data.

Senior investigator of the study Jiyoung Ahn, an associate professor and epidemiologist at NYU School of Medicine, believes that the findings will take us closer to establishing the causes of esophageal cancer.

She says that this is “because we now know that at least in some cases disease appears consistently linked to the presence of specific bacteria in the upper digestive tract.”

‘Urgent need’ for new prevention strategies

Esophageal cancer is a cancer that starts in the cells of the esophagus, the tube of muscular tissue that moves food from the mouth to the stomach, and which is commonly referred to as the food pipe, or gullet.

The disease accounts for around 1 percent of all diagnosed cancers in the United States, where every year about 16,940 people find out that they have the disease and 15,690 die of it. The cancer is more common in men than in women.Because the lining of the esophagus has two main types of cell, there are two main types of esophageal cancer: esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The new study investigated both EAC and ESCC.
Unfortunately, because most people do not discover that they have esophageal cancer until the disease is advanced, only between 15–25 percent of them survive more than 5 years.

“Esophageal cancer is a highly fatal cancer,” says Prof. Ahn, “and there is an urgent need for new avenues of prevention, risk stratification, and early detection.”

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