Gum disease bacteria linked to esophageal cancer risk


Esophagus is a muscular tube that is instrumental in movement of food from mouth to the stomach. It is lined with two kinds of cells and hence there are two main types of esophageal cancer- Adenocarcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma, the latter being more common in developing countries. This type of cancer progresses rapidly and has a high mortality rate. Like other cancers, the number of risk factors include chemical exposure, diet, heredity and age- however it is still difficult to diagnose this cancer early! Now, a team of researchers from University of Louisville School of Dentistry have made a surprising causal finding in which they found that a bacteria found in the mouth and that is responsible for gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis is present in 61% of the cancerous tissues in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).