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A Simple Way to Prevent Bowel Cancer


A Simple Way to Prevent Bowel Cancer

Brushing your teeth regularly could help to preventbowel cancer, a study suggests.

This is because the mouth bacteria that causebleeding gums can travel via the blood to the bowelwhere they could trigger cancer or worsen existingtumours.

The bug fusobacterium has been found to behundreds of times more common in cancerous tumours than in normal cells. Now researchershave found that the microbes can make

pre-cancerous growths in the bowel turn cancerous.They can also make any existing tumours in the bowel grow larger. Scientists are investigatinghow the bacteria make their way to the gut through the bloodstream.


The researchers found that the bacteria have a protein that allows them to stick to sugarmolecules attached to benign growths called polyps as well as cancer tumours in the bowel.The bacteria are anaerobicthey do not breathe oxygenso are well suited to live in thebowel.

After sticking to the polyps or tumours, the presence of the bacteria promotes their growth,according to the research published in Cell Growth and Microbe.
Co-author Wendy Garrett, a professor at Harvard University's TH Chan School of Public Health,said a greater understanding of the mechanism may help stop people developing canceroustumours.
She added: 'Alternatively, and perhaps more importantly, our findings suggest that drugstargeting the same or similar mechanisms of bacterial sugar-binding proteins could potentiallyprevent these bacteria from exacerbating colorectal cancer.'
Fusobacterium worsens gum disease in the mouth because it acts as an 'anchor' around teethand gums for other bacteria, helping to cause a biofilma 'mat' of different bacteria that eataway at the gums, causing inflammation, and loosening the teeth.
As well as worsening cancer, the bugs have also been found to worsen the bowel conditionulcerative colitis, which in turn is also linked to cancer.