Poor Oral Health Associated With Increased Liver Cancer Risk
Medical Xpress (June 17) states that researchers at Queen’s University Belfast “investigated the association between poor oral health conditions and the risk of a number of gastrointestinal cancers, including liver, colon, rectum and pancreatic cancer.” The release states that although “no significant associations were observed on the risk of the majority gastrointestinal cancers and poor oral health, a substantial link was found for hepatobiliary cancer.” The findings were published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal.
The study, by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, analyzed a large group of over 469,000 people in the UK. They investigated the association between poor oral health conditions and the increase in the number of risks associated with gastrointestinal cancers. Namely liver, colon, rectum, and pancreatic cancer. Moreover, the application of models helped estimating the relationship between cancer risk and self-reported oral health conditions. These include painful or bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, and loose teeth, accordingly.
Whilst no significant associations were observed on the risk of the majority gastrointestinal cancers and poor oral health, a substantial link was found for hepatobiliary cancer. Thus, implying that poor oral health may be associated with Increased Cancer Risk
“Poor oral health has been associated with the risk of several chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes”
Dr. Haydée WT Jordão, from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and lead author of the study, explained such. She added that the research examined inconsistent evidence on the association between poor oral health and specific types of gastrointestinal cancers.
Of the 469,628 participants, 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the (average) six-year follow up. In 13% of these cases, patients reported poor oral health. They also specified participants with more likely poor oral health. Name, younger, female, living in deprived socioeconomic areas, and consumed less than two portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
The biological mechanisms by which poor oral health may be more strongly associated with liver cancer, rather than other digestive cancers, is currently uncertain
One explanation is the potential role of the oral and gut microbiome in disease development. “The liver contributes to the elimination of bacteria from the human body”, stated Dr. Haydée WT Jordão. She also added that diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer, badly affects the liver’s function. Also, bacteria will survive for longer and therefore have the potential to cause more harm. Furthermore, one bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum, originates in the oral cavity but its role in liver cancer is unclear. Lastly, warranting further studies investigating the microbiome and liver cancer.
Another theory in explaining the higher cancer risk due to poor oral health suggests that participants with a high number of missing teeth may alter their diet. Specifically, consuming softer and potentially less nutritious foods, which in turn influence the risk of liver cancer2.
Liver cancer sets the sixth bigger cancer killer in the EU. In fact, claiming the lives of almost 60,000 people per year3. The five-year survival rate for the disease across Europe is just 11%. Plus, approximately 9 in 10 cases are in individuals over the age of 55 ref media pack3. Accordingly, half of cases of liver cancer are preventable, with risk factors often relating to lifestyle, such as overweight or obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.
Article from: ADA Morning Huddle
And Medical Express
Lorin Berland, DDS