In non-smokers, the bacterial composition of the mouth could be linked to the risk of lung cancer.
The mouth could therefore be the gateway to the bacteria responsible for the formation of this tumor.
To prove it, Chinese researchers analyzed data * on non-smokers between 1996 and 2006. An oral bacterial sample was taken every 2 or 3 years.
Over the course of the study, 90 women and 24 men were diagnosed with lung cancer. To compare, a control group of 114 non-smokers spared from this disease was formed.
All of them also analyzed their oral bacterial flora.
As a result, a difference in the bacterial composition appeared between the volunteers suffering from cancer and those of the healthy group.
In detail, “a high concentration of Bacteroidetes and Spirochetes decreases the risk of lung cancer while a high concentration of Firmicutes increases this same risk”.
This is only an observational study, but the lead is relevant. As Dr David Christiani (Harvard University) reminds us, “oral bacteria are known to cause chronic inflammation, promote the proliferation of unhealthy cells, modify the structure of DNA, mechanisms at the origin of cancer”.
Asbestos, radon, inhaled cannabis …
The first risk factor for lung cancer remains smoking **. But 1 in 4 lung cancer is unrelated to smoking.
The occurrence of lung tumors is also associated with other aggressive agents: asbestos, diesel engine exhaust, radon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, certain ionizing radiations, silica, cadmium. But also the inhaled cannabis and the previous radiotherapy examination of the chest for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
* The Shanghai Women’s Health Study and the Shanghai Men’s Health Study
** passive smoking is the cause of 3,000 to 5,000 deaths each year in France
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