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Study looks to find link between bacteria and colon cancer

May 08, 2019 - 4:00 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The bacteria in our gut can have far-reaching effects. Scientists say they looked at 47 subjects with known colon cancer and compared bacteria in their stool to 94 healthy individuals.

What they found was that in those with cancer, there was an increased presence of “bad” bacteria and a lower amount of certain “good” bacteria.

Fusobacterium, a microorganism associated with increased risk of colon cancer, was more prevalent in patients with colon cancer.

This is the first study to look at the association between certain bacteria and increased or decreased risk of colon cancer.

This bring up some interesting questions, could tracking bacteria lead to preventive therapies and would changing the bacterial makeup of gut flora change risk? 

Clearly, scientists are looking at a wide variety of factors when assessing risks for colon cancer. Hopefully work like this can help with both early detection and treatment.