Is There a Link between Antibiotics and Colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer

Prolonged use of antibiotics in young and middle age people increases the risk of developing colon polyps, which can be malignant. There are evidence for this fact in a new study published in magazine Gut. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors. Risk factors for colorectal canceroccurrence are: decreased physical activity, decreased consumption of fruits and vegetables, obesity, alcohol abuse.

 Colorectal cancer

In recent years, antibiotics have been linked to a number of diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and even obesity. This connection is believed to be due to the effect antibiotics have on the intestinal bacterial flora. By changing the amount and type of intestinal bacteria, antibiotics can trigger pathological processes.

A team of scientists analyzed data obtained from over 16,000 women who participated in a long-term American study. The results have shown that adenomas (benign colon polyps) occur significantly more frequently among women who have taken antibiotics for two months or more between 20 and 50 years of age. While women who were not taking antibiotics between the ages of 20 and 50 for a long time, the incidence of adenomas was lower.

The established link was particularly pronounced for proximal colon adenomas, whether they were at high or low risk for malignancy.

 Colorectal cancer

Although the study is large-scale, it does not provide conclusive evidence that prolonged use of antibiotics leads to the development of colorectal cancer. Adenomas may have occurred before the use of antibiotics. It is also important to note that bacteria that require antibiotics often cause inflammation of the intestine, which in itself is a risk factor for colorectal cancer.

There is a satisfactory biological explanation for the potential link between antibiotics and colorectal cancer, although deeper studies are needed. Antibiotics significantly affect the intestinal flora by reducing certain types of bacteria. Previous studies have shown that in patients with colorectal cancer, the number of bacteria has been reduced, while others have been elevated.

According to the authors of this study, if the results are confirmed and other studies have to limit the prolonged use of antibiotics.

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