Cancer Causing Bacteria?

by Laura Heffner

Several recent studies have shown where bacteria can be linked to pancreatic cancer. Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that causes stomach cancer and peptic ulcers, and Porphyrmomonas gingivalis, which is found in gum disease, have both been linked to pancreatic cancer.  At the moment it is believed that because these two bacterial infections cause body wide inflammation which is linked to pancreatic cancer, that they play a role in triggering the cancer.  

Though pancreatic cancer's mortality rate is 96%, the most fatal cancer one can get, the causes for it is little known.  Risk factors include obesity, cigarette smoking and Type 2 diabetes but these factors are only considered to cause 40% of the cancer.  Since the risk factors also suppress the body's immune system, this is also believed to allow the infections to become a carcinogen.  

Though the fact that bacterial and viral infections can cancers is not a new concept, the information may help discover new preventative steps and treatments.  After reading this article, it makes me want to get into the dentist for a long overdue check up which I put off during a family health crisis.  Not to mention it gives flossing a whole new meaning as well.  

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