Pancreatic cancer has been linked to the two types of bacteria that cause gum disease, so looking after your teeth properly could actually help to ward off the deadly disease, according to recent research. A team of US researchers have discovered that people with the gum condition are twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer within the next ten years.
The results of the study were revealed at the American Association for Cancer Research in New Orleans and the team hope that this means there is an ‘accessible’ way to prevent the disease from developing. Furthermore, it could also help doctors in their efforts to screen for the condition.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of the disease, with on 3% of patients surviving for five years. Because the symptoms of this type of cancer are very hard to spot during the early stage, doctors could diagnose the risk by screening for the bacteria that link the two conditions.
Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the UK Oral Health Foundation, said that this could be ‘an enormously important shift in diagnosis which could ultimately save thousands of lives a year.’ He added that poor oral health has been linked to many medical conditions and people ‘must remember’ that dental health is not too difficult to maintain.