The health challenges of today are much more complex than before. There is continuous new research around the world due to the rise in global epidemics which also happen to be the top killers of the world.
One of such health conditions in cancer.
Cancer is not a recent phenomenon but has been present for decades. However, it is important to note that it was never as common as it is now. In the twentieth century, the highest number of deaths at the beginning was caused by issues like the plague.
Tuberculosis and similar health problems were also responsible for millions of death worldwide. In modern times, such outbreaks have been overcome and the treatment is widely available. Instead, cancer and a number of other problems have replaced the previous ones.
Therefore, there is extensive research on cancer, its related factors, markers, and risks. At the moment, scientists have not been able to figure out the exact cause for the development of cancerous tumors but many factors which increase its risk have been identified.
These factors may range from lifestyle habits and genetics to environmental factors and other health issues a person may have. Recently, new research looks at the link between digestive system cancers and the health of the oral cavity in a person.
The findings of the study, which are published in the United Europe Gastroenterology Journal, look specifically at finding sufficient evidence to prove connections between oral health and gastrointestinal cancers.
Read the study here.
How Was the Study Conducted?
According to statistics, cancers related to the organs in the digestive system are on the rise. Examples of such cancers include cancers of the esophagus, liver, bile duct, small intestine, rectum, colon, pancreas, and stomach.
In the new study, information from the newest revision in the International Classification of Disease by the World Health Organization’s list was used. Data for the research was also taken from the U.K Biobank Project.
Precisely, information around 490,000 adults from all parts of the United Kingdom was collected. These participants were between the ages of forty to sixty-nine at the beginning of the study which ran from 2006 to 2010.
Participants who did not provide the required information or already had a genetic disposition or history of cancers were not included.
What Were the Results?
After the observation by the team of researchers, it was noted that around 4,096 of the final 469,628 chosen participants had cancerous growths in the six years follow-up period.
Out of the people who developed cancer, around thirteen percent were seen to have poor oral health practice at the starting of the study. Bad oral health was tied to a number of health conditions.
For instance, the researchers found that the people who had poor oral health also had higher chances of having obesity, nicotine addiction, and a poor diet along with a higher risk of developing specific cancers related to the digestive system.
Generally, the connection between the overall development of gastrointestinal cancers and oral health was not clear. However, upon the examination of cancers related to particular organs, it was seen that there was a link between poor oral health and hepatobiliary cancers.
Hepatobiliary cancers are tumor growths in the bile ducts, liver, and gallbladder. In the study, was seen to be hepatocellular carcinoma strongly connected to oral health. A person with poor oral practice had a seventy-five percent higher risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma.
This is an important finding considering that hepatocellular carcinoma is the most commonly diagnosed liver cancer in the United States. However, further research is needed to explain the link between oral health and liver cancer as it still remains unclear.