This drug is linked to the development of colon cancer

The cancer that more new cases are registered each year in Spain is that of colon and straight. Last year they were diagnosed 43.581 new cases, according to data from the Spanish Foundation for the Digestive System (FEAD); East 2022according to Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), more are expected 43,370 cases.

Also, the last year for which there are mortality records is 2020. At that time there was just over 15,000 dead for this disease. That is why the fight against this type of cancer is one of the most important for Spanish public health.

The good part is that, if caught early, in a 90% of the time colon and rectal cancers can be cured. This was recalled by the FEAD on the occasion of World Colon Cancer Day, celebrated every March, 31st.

This is why it is so important to participate in the screening programs of this disease, since there will be a greater probability of defeating it the sooner it is detected. But, in addition, we must also bear in mind what are the main risk factors of it and monitor our habits.

As a consequence of this, the American Cancer Society (AMC) explained some risk factors that can be avoided. The Overweight and the obesitythe physical inactivityhigh consumption of red and processed meats and especially if they are cooked at very high temperatures, the excessive consumption of alcohol and the smoking are the main habits that can lead to this disease.

In addition, some scientists have now discovered a new risk factor that could cause this type of cancer: high consumption of antibiotics.

The scientific community has been asking consumers for several years to make a responsible use of antibiotics. That is to say, they fear them only when they prescription and during the the time it indicates.

Until now, the main reason they asked for this responsibility was to avoid the appearance of bacteria resistant to this type of treatment. In fact, when used improperly, bacteria can mutate and become immune the effect of these drugs; if this happens, it is therefore difficult to treat infected people.

However, now this limitation of the consumption of antibiotics could also be motivated by relationship with colon and rectal cancer. This fact was observed in two different studies.

The first was presented last year at the World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO, for its acronym in English), and they made it British researchers. They studied a population of 8,000 patients who had colorectal cancer and 30,000 healthy people.

After that they observed who they were under 50 and had a history of drug use antibiotics increased to one 49% the risk of developing cancer of the colon, but not of the rectum.

The second is a study in swedish published in the scientific journal Journal of the National Cancer Institute. For him, they studied a population of more than 40,000 people with colorectal cancer there more than 200,000 without cancer. They concluded that those who had used antibiotics for more than six months had a 17% more risk to have one of these cancers.

Destruction of the microbiota: the cause of cancer

Continued consumption of antibiotics can decompensate microbiotics. Photo: Unsplash

These studies they don’t try to scare antibiotics, as they are essential drugs in certain infections. However, they seek to emphasize the need to make a their responsible consumption.

However, for now the risk What does the consumption of antibiotics mean for the development of this type of cancer? is not comparable to that posed by environmental risk factors (obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, red and processed meat, tobacco).

The reason why these drugs are able to cause cancer in this organ is related to their own function. That is, antibiotics have the ability to destroy pathogenic bacteria in the body, but it can also happen that eliminate beneficial ones and with whom we live in symbiosis.

These are mainly bacteria present in intestine and act like a protective barrierbecause it prevents the entry of other pathogenic microorganisms.

As antibiotics can also kill bacteria which have a beneficial effect on health, they make the microbiota is decompensated. the state of the microbiotameanwhile, is of great importance in the development of different types of cancerAccording to a study published in Genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics.

“Several studies suggest that microbiota and his metabolites They are not only linked to carcinogenesis by inducing inflammation and immune dysregulation.a —which leads to genetic instability—, but also interfere with the pharmacodynamics of anticancer agents“says the study.

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