What daily habit can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer by 20%?

Certain habits definitely increase our risk for certain cancers, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, eating processed foods, and being out in the sun. But there are also routines that can reduce your risk, and you are surely doing it on a daily basis.

Brushing your teeth daily can reduce your risk of developing esophageal cancer by 20%, according to a New York University study.

The researchers analyzed bacterial samples taken from the mouths of 122,000 people and performed DNA tests to determine exactly what types of bacteria were found in them. They then followed the participants for 10 years to see which participants would develop esophageal cancer.

The final results of the study, recently published in the journal Cancer Research show that study participants who had large amounts of Tannerella forsythia or Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria were 21% more likely to develop esophageal cancer.

However, another type of bacteria called Neisseria was found to reduce the risk of cancer.

(Credit: Ingimage)

Professor Jiang Ahen, who led the study, said the research showed that knowing the bacterial environment in the mouth can help people develop strategies to prevent esophageal cancer, or hopefully help doctors detect it in a earliest curable stage. He added that esophageal cancer is a very deadly type of cancer, so there is an urgent need to find new ways to prevent it, reduce the risk of developing it, and detect it early.

The best way to keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria is to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and have dental exams every six months. However, it should be emphasized that the findings of this study do not determine that bacteria directly cause cancer development. Rather, bacteria can cause disease of the mouth and gums, which can increase the risk of cancer.


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