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A trip to the dentist may help identify cancer risk

According to a Harvard Medical School article, Dr. Jiyoung Ahnn of New York University may have found a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer. In a research report which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Ahnn found that individuals with elevated levels of an oral bacterium are more likely to get pancreatic cancer.

The possible link was found when researchers compared saliva from people who later developed pancreatic cancer with those who were healthy. After analyzing the results, it was found that subjects who have high levels of Porphyromonas gingivalis had nearly a 60% greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of the disease. The study shows that elevated levels of oral bacteria can precede pancreatic cancer, meaning it may be a tool doctors can use to identify those with a higher risk of developing the disease.

More research is needed to know if oral bacterium is a factor in developing this form of cancer, however it is a development that could lead to a better understanding of what causes pancreatic cancer.

Read the original article here:

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