Unnecessary antibiotics can increase the risk of colon cancer — studies say, especially when young


The use of antibiotics around the world has been steadily increasing over the years.In the United States, about 30% of prescribed antibiotics are considered Unnecessary, A total of about 47 million over-prescriptions per year.

Now new Research This surge in antibiotic use suggests that it may increase the risk of developing colon cancer.

Researchers speculate that some antibiotics may be altering the microbes that live in people’s gut, but further research is needed to understand the true relationship between microbiota and infectious disease treatments. Is required.

Findings declare a mere association, not a cause and effect. Still, researchers advise that antibiotics should not be prescribed unless absolutely necessary.

“As far as we know, this is the first study to link antibiotic use to an increased risk of early-onset colon cancer. The disease has increased at least 3% per year in the last 20 years.” Sarah Perrott said. The University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom spoke at the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer last week. “Junk food, sweet drinks, obesity, and alcohol may have contributed to the rise, but our data emphasize the importance of avoiding unwanted antibiotics, especially in children and young adults. doing.”

In a medical database of approximately 8,000 Scottish intestinal cancer patients and more than 30,400 cancer-free people, researchers are at risk of illness in people under the age of 50 compared to 9% of people over the age of 50 using antibiotics. Found to be associated with a 50% increase in.

Antibiotic use, especially quinolones, sulfonamides, and trimethoprim, which treat infections, were associated with cancer found on the right side of the colon, especially in the younger age group. This part of the colon, unlike the rest of the organ, contains more water and contains a variety of natural bacteria.

“It is not yet known if antibiotics can induce effects on the microbiota that may directly or indirectly contribute to the development of colon cancer,” said the study’s senior author, Aberdeen Royal Hospital. Dr. Leslie Samuel, a doctor, said in a statement. “It’s a complicated situation because we know that even if the intestines are cleaned for diagnostic procedures such as endoscopy, the microbiome can quickly return to its previous state. “

According to researchers, a 65% increase in antibiotic use worldwide between 2000 and 2015 does not help.

Another part of the problem is that younger patients tend to be diagnosed later in life when cancer is difficult to treat. For example, people in their thirties are less likely to consider the disease when treating people with common symptoms such as abdominal discomfort. Young patients are also not eligible to be screened for intestinal cancer under most guidelines.

According to a 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 30% of the approximately 154 million antibiotic prescriptions written in clinics and emergency departments were unnecessary. Most of them were treatments for acute respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, allergies, sinus infections, ear infections and pneumonia.

A year before the CDC study was conducted, the White House undertook the National Action Plan (CARB) to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria in an effort to reduce “inappropriate outpatient antibiotic use” by at least half by 2020. Was announced. That goal.

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