Oral Health and Cancer
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Purpose of Review
Recently published studies have provided new evidence for a role of oral health on risk of cancer. This review summarizes the latest research on this topic, including several new cohort studies that have examined associations on periodontal disease and cancer risk.
The most consistent findings for associations with periodontal disease have been observed for lung cancer; five out of seven studies have reported statistically significant increases in risk of lung cancer. For pancreatic, colorectal, and head and neck cancers, the associations are less consistent across studies, and the overall summary relative risk estimates are not statistically significant. However, these associations remain of interest, given the limitations of existing data (i.e., measurement error in periodontal disease assessment and small sample sizes), and growing support for biological mechanisms on how bacteria previously linked to periodontal disease may play a role in carcinogenesis.
Future studies need improved assessment of periodontal disease in population-based studies to determine if heterogeneity of current studies resides with measurement error. Periodontal disease treatment and prevention may turn out to be important targetable cancer prevention strategies.
KeywordsPeriodontal disease Lung cancer Pancreatic cancer Colorectal cancer Head and neck cancer Fusobacterium nucleatum Porphyromonas gingivalis
Research supported by the 2018 AACR-Johnson & Johnson Lung Cancer Innovation Science Grants Number 18-90-52-MICH.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance
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