By: Steven Reinberg/HealthDay Reporter
“Men with history of periodontal disease had a 14 percent higher risk of cancer than those who did not have periodontal disease, and the increase persisted among never smokers,” said lead researcher Dominique Michaud, a cancer epidemiologist at Imperial College London, in the U.K.
People with gum infections have a higher amount of inflammatory markers in their blood and inflammation has been linked to cancer. The exact link between gum disease and cancer is still unclear.
This new finding needs to be examined in other populations and among women, but it at least suggests that oral health may have some impact on cancer risk, Michaud said.
“If other data can support this association, then it will have implications for prevention and may provide some new clues on the role of the immune function in cancer development,” Michaud said.
The report is published in the June edition of the journal The Lancet Oncology.