Patients are advised to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics according to new data suggesting that these drugs may increase the risk of colon cancer., especially for those under 50 years.
The results presented at the World Congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) for gastrointestinal cancer raise new concerns about the impact of the estimated increase in 65% of global consumption of antibiotics for space 2000 – 2015, despite the fact that a cause-and-effect relationship has not been documented at present.
The results of the study were presented by researcher Sarah Perrott from the Department of Applied Medicine at the University of Aberdeen and as she commented this is the first study that associates taking antibiotics with the increased risk of early onset colorectal cancer - a disease that at least increases 3% per year for the last two decades.
"Junk food, sugary drinks, obesity and alcohol are likely to play a role in this increase, "But our data underscore the importance of avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, especially in children and young adults," said Dr Perrott..
In the research, the scientists used a database of two million people from Scotland from which they examined 8000 people with colon cancer and compared them with people without colon cancer.
Antibiotic use has been found to be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer at all ages, but the risk was against 50% raised to below 50 years, compared to 9% for those over 50 years.
In the younger age group the use of antibiotics was associated with the occurrence of cancer in the first part of the colon, the right ( the blind, the anion and the first half of the transverse colon form the right part of the large intestine). Quinolones and sulfonamides / trimethoprim, used to treat a wide range of infections, were associated with these cancers on the right side.
Dr. Leslie Samuel, from the Royal Aberdeen Hospital in the United Kingdom, senior author of the study, explained that the contents of the right side of the colon are more watery and that the microbiome of the area, may differ from that in the rest of the large intestine.
The researchers' next step is to find out if there is a link between taking antibiotics and changes in the microbiome that can make the colon more prone to carcinogenesis., especially to young people. "It's a complicated situation, as we know that the microbiome can quickly return to the previous state, even after "cleansing" for example for a colonoscopy. "We do not yet know whether antibiotics can modify the microbiome to contribute either directly or indirectly to the development of colon cancer.", said Dr. Samuel.
Given the incidence of colon cancer in younger people 20-40 researchers have a worse prognosis than older people, researchers are trying to investigate all possible factors that may increase the risk such as the effect of antibiotics on the intestinal microbiome. Although more data are needed, scientists do not rule out the possibility that excessive use of antibiotics may expose people to an increased risk of cancer..