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How does gum disease affect cancer risk?

A Harvard University School of Public Health study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, uncovered a strong correlation of advanced gum disease in men to a 63% higher incidence of pancreatic cancer. A research report in the prestigious journal, Lancet Oncology, confirmed that cancer risk increases when gum disease is present. Even the presence of moderate gum disease contributed to an overall 14% increased risk of cancer. These include lung, kidney and blood cancers in both smokers and non-smokers.

A British and American research team at Imperial College in London and Harvard University studied the statistical health records of 50,000 patients from data collected over 21 years. There was a 33% increase in the risk of lung cancer, 50% rise in the risk of kidney cancer, and a 30% higher incidence of blood cancers, such as leukemia, among those with gum disease. Chronic advanced gum disease was the most frightening -- with an additional fourfold increase in head and neck cancer for each millimeter of related bone loss around teeth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.