Brushing and flossing teeth can help prevent cancer spread: study
Brush, floss, gargle — advice coming now from cancer researchers, not just your mom and dentist.
Scientists are stressing good oral hygiene after they discovered a common mouth germ can push cancer to other parts of the body.
And they see their finding as significant because the spread of the cancerous cells – or metastasis – is what causes 90% of cancer deaths.
This year, three studies focused on the relationship between the germ, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and colon cancer.
Biochemist Daniel Slade of Virginia Tech worked on one of those studies, which found colon cancer cells invaded by the germ became inflamed by two proteins called cytokines – and the inflammation in turn caused the cells to travel.
The discovery is especially sobering because colorectal cancer ranks only second to lung cancer as the deadliest type worldwide, numbers show.
Other studies have tied the germ to other cancers, including esophagus, pancreas, lung and breast.
Slade told The Post that the link that others have found between gum disease and other illnesses — heart disease and diabetes, for example — reinforces the findings about cancer: Mouths matter.
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