Periodontal Disease May Increase Cancer Risk for Postmenopausal Women

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Postmenopausal women who have a history of periodontal disease also have a higher risk of several types of cancer, including gallbladder cancer, according to a University at Buffalo (UB) study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The study, “Periodontal Disease and Incident Cancer Risk Among Postmenopausal Women: Results From the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Cohort,” included 65,869 postmenopausal women ages 54 to 86 years. The participant’s self-reported periodontal disease on questionnaires administered between 1999 and 2003, and researchers monitored cancer outcomes through September 2013.

Over an average follow-up time of 8.3 years, the researchers identified 7149 cases of cancer. Of the number of cancers that occurred, the majority (2416) were breast cancer. The study showed that a history of periodontal disease was associated with a 14% higher risk of developing any cancer, with the strongest association for cancer of the esophagus, which was more than three times more likely in women with periodontal disease than women who did not report periodontal conditions. The team also found lung cancer, gallbladder cancer, melanoma and breast cancer were also associated with significantly higher risk.

From Decisions in Dentistry. October 2017;3(10):12.

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