Cancer is not one disease. It is, instead, a group of diseases with a variety of different causes and treatments. As researchers delve into the many possible causative factors, they uncover information that may seem unlikely and surprising. One such discovery recently came to light when researchers found that a bacterium (Porphyromonas gingivalis) that contributes to gum disease was present in nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of the cancerous tissue samples taken from patients with esophageal cancer. This type of cancer begins in the tube that moves food from the throat into the stomach. It is difficult to diagnose in its early stages, and usually progresses rapidly. The hope is that treating gum disease may help prevent its occurrence.
This informative column on esophageal cancer has been brought to you as a public service. At the office of PAUL E. NELSON, D.D.S., we stress the importance of preventive dental care for the entire family. When was the last time you had your teeth checked by a professional? Call us now at 714.992.0092 and schedule an appointment. We will only do what is best for you, and we will not compromise. We’re located at 100 N. State College Blvd., Suite 1.
P.S. If it is proven that P. gingivalis actually causes esophageal cancer, a dental exam may become a screening tool for the disease.