It just won’t stop: New risks for breast cancer being discovered, and this latest risk is a big surprise, because who’d ever think that something like THIS could be associated with a higher risk of this malignancy?
What is this newly discovered risk for breast cancer?
Of all things, it’s periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease seems to be a risk factor for breast cancer in postmenopausal women, says a 2015 study led by Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD.
Breast cancer risk was actually 14 percent higher the postmenopausal participants who had periodontal disease—after the analysis was adjusted for smoking habits, and smoking factored into the link between periodontal disease and BC.
What is the explanation for this association?
A possible explanation is “that the bacteria in the mouths of current and former smokers who quite recently are different,” says Dr. Freudenheim, “from those in the mouths of non-smokers.”
Dr. Freudenheim believes that the bacteria from the smokers and former smokers gets into the body’s circulatory system and infiltrates breast tissue. But this is conjecture; further studies are needed.
The study also had limitations including self-reporting by the women of their periodontal disease history.
Regardless of your dental and gum health, women at least 50 years of age should undergo yearly mammograms.
Many women, however, are not aware of the advantage of 3D mammograms over 2D mammograms.
A 3D mammogram is called tomosynthesis, and it has a higher rate of detecting suspicious masses which turn out to be malignant tumors, that are missed on the more standard 2D mammograms.