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Tongue microbiome could be the next key to detect pancreatic cancer early

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According to a report generated by NCI (National Cancer Institute), approx 1.6 percent of adults living in the U.S. shall get diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in their lifetime. The researchers also investigated that there was a spike of 55,440 new pancreatic cancer cases in the U.S. just for the year 2018 with chances of more number of patients to be diagnosed with the same.

The NCI also noted that 5-year rate for survival for the people that have undergone proper treatment is just limited to 8.5 percent. This points out to the fact that it is required for the researchers to develop more effective forms of treatment along with better methodology to identify the presence of pancreatic cancer at the early stages.

Diagnosing patients affected with pancreatic cancer at an early stage can help accelerate one’s access to proper treatment and thereby boost the overall likelihood of surviving the ailment for long. However, given the fact that this form of cancer comes with very few symptoms at the start, it might go undiagnosed till it reaches the late stage.

Apart from NCI’s research, another team researched this issue at the Zhejiang University located in Hangzhou of China. They located that the microbiota present in the human tongue can actually act as a tool for diagnosis for pancreatic cancer. The findings of this research were reported in the publication named Journal of Oral Microbiology. These findings dictated that there is a significant difference between the microbial population in a healthy individual’s tongue and the ones in the tongue of a person in the early stages of pancreatic cancer.

The study was conducted over 30 individuals that were already diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during early stage along with 25 individuals that were perfectly healthy and served as a control group in the experiment. All these participants were between the ages of 45 to 65. They had no health issues or oral health ailments. None of the participants had taken antibiotics or similar drugs 3 months before the study commenced.

People with pancreatic cancer showcase a distinctive oral microbiome that can help the researchers determine if the patient suffers from pancreatic cancer. People with pancreatic cancer actually have a low population of porphyromonas bacteria and Haemophilus bacteria but high population of Fusobacterium and Leptotrichia. Although this requires more studies to confirm whether tongue microbiome can actually help detect pancreatic cancer, this could be the start of something that cements early cancer detection.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.