Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Periodontitis Appears to be Linked to Breast Cancer

We’re continuing to see more and more links between diseases of the oral cavity and different types of cancers is several parts of the body.  Pathogens found in the mouth have easy access to the rest of the body.  Lately there have been studies showing links to esophageal cancer.
A recent study done at the State University of New York at Buffalo examined data pertaining to periodontal disease and the incidence of cancer in postmenopausal women.  The results are intriguing, to say the least:

Background: Periodontal pathogens have been isolated from precancerous and cancerous lesions and also shown to promote a procarcinogenic microenvironment. Few studies have examined periodontal disease as a risk factor for total cancer, and none have focused on older women. We examined whether periodontal disease is associated with incident cancer among postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

Methods: Our prospective cohort study comprised 65,869 women, ages 54 to 86 years. Periodontal disease information was obtained via self-report questionnaires administered between 1999 and 2003, whereas ascertainment of cancer outcomes occurred through September 2013, with a maximum follow-up period of 15 years. Physician-adjudicated incident total cancers were the main outcomes and site-specific cancers were secondary outcomes. HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression. All analyses were conducted two-sided.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 8.32 years, 7,149 cancers were identified. Periodontal disease history was associated with increased total cancer risk (multivariable-adjusted HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.08–1.20); findings were similar in analyses limited to 34,097 never-smokers (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04–1.22). Associations were observed for breast (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03–1.23), lung (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.14–1.51), esophagus (HR, 3.28; 95% CI, 1.64–6.53), gallbladder (HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.01–2.95), and melanoma skin (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.02–1.48) cancers. Stomach cancer was borderline (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 0.94–2.67).

Conclusions: Periodontal disease increases risk of total cancer among older women, irrespective of smoking, and certain anatomic sites appear to be vulnerable.

Impact: Our findings support the need for further understanding of the effect of periodontal disease on cancer outcomes. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(8); 1255–65. ©2017 AACR.

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