Periodontal disease and esophageal cancer
Esophageal cancer is the 8th most common cancer and the 6th leading cause of cancer death in the world. A new study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research links some types of oral bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease with esophageal cancer.
Previous research has shown that periodontal disease caused by oral microbiota is associated with a higher risk of cancer including oral, head and neck cancer.
Oral samples were collected from 122,000 individuals and these individuals were followed for 10 years. The researchers compared the oral microbiome of individuals and found that higher levels of a bacteria known as Tannerella forsythia were associated with a 21% increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) . Another bacteria known as Porphyromonas gingivalis was associated with a higher risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), both of these bacteria are associated with common gum disease.
The study also found that other types of bacteria were associated with a lower risk of esophageal cancer and researchers are now examining if some types of bacteria may play a beneficial role in preventing esophageal cancer.