Antibiotics Linked To Breast Cancer

Antibiotics linked to Breast Cancer

A research study described on CNN on February 17, 2004, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, states that women who took common antibiotics were twice as likely to develop breast cancer as women who took no antibiotics.

To quote from CNN:

“It’s as strong as any of the risk factors that we know,” said Dr. Roberta Ness of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, who is author of an editorial accompanying the study.

“To put it into perspective, the risk for developing breast cancer from hormone replacement use is about a 30 % to 40 % increase in risk. And here we’re talking about a doubling in risk of those women who are using chronic antibiotics.”

Why antibiotics may possibly increase breast cancer risk is still a “mystery”, researchers said. The conditions that necessitated the antibiotics in the first place may have put the women at higher risk. Or, researchers said, the women in the study who had never taken antibiotics might have been generally healthier overall.

Another theory suggested in the study involves the way antibiotics affect bacteria in the intestine, which may disable possible cancer-fighting properties of some foods. Other explanations involve the effect of antibiotics on the body’s immune system.

The research is not the first to show an association between antibiotics and a higher risk of breast cancer, the second most deadly cancer in women. In 1999, a Finnish study of almost 10,000 women found similar results.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the overuse of antibiotics has exploded in the past 10 years, with the public mistakenly taking the medicine for colds, flu and coughs. These types of illnesses are caused by viruses and cannot be helped with antibiotics, which fight bacterial infections.

Eric’s Comment: It is interesting how it appears a “mystery” to researchers as to why breast cancer risk increases whilst taking antibiotics. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t anti-biotics mean “anti-life”?