-- Robert Preidt
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
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
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.
The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines how to keep
teeth and mouth healthy.
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