Antibiotics linked to cancer

The Journal of the American Medical Association (Feb 18, 2004; 291:827-35) has reported a recent study of 10,000 women. Those who took antibiotics for more than 500 days in a 17 year period held more than twice the risk of breast cancer as women who had taken none. Women who had taken just one dose of antibiotics, statistically increased their risk by 1.5 times.

The study was only recorded for breast cancer but obviously it would be interesting prostate and other cancers. The likely explanation might involve the action of antibiotics in destroying good bacteria in the stomach. (In my e-newsletter we have mentioned that good bacteria keep Helicobacter pylori in check. The bacterium is linked to lowered levels of B-12 in the blood). It could also be simply a case of women who get more infections have weaker immune systems and may be more prone to cancer.

The study followed up on original findings in Finland in 2000 where the first connection was made.

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