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The Connection between Colorectal Cancer and Blood Infections

According to new research, there’s a link between blood infections and colorectal cancer. The infections are caused by anaerobic bacteria in the blood. Certain blood infections increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. The study is designed to help doctors to effectively screen patients for colorectal cancer.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include age, genetic syndromes, family history of the disease, obesity, inactivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Anaerobic bacteria can function without oxygen. They are naturally found in various parts of the body, including the gut. These bacteria do not often cause infections, and when they do, it’s usually in the area inhabited by bacteria.

A previous study linked particular anaerobic bacteria with colorectal cancer but needed more research to explore the findings. This new research is being conducted to study the details and explore the connection further.

During the study, the team collected data on many different blood infections, including the types of pathogens they found in the participants’ bloodstreams.

Of all the participants who had a bacterial infection in the blood, 1.1% developed colorectal cancer later on, with 0.5% being within the first year of their infection.

They also discovered that anaerobic bacterial infections of the blood were linked to a significant increase in colorectal cancer risk.

Those found to have Clostridium septicum infection were highly likely to develop colorectal cancer within the coming year.

Only 0.5% of those with a bacterial infection developed colorectal cancer compared to 20.8% of the participants with a Clostridium septicum infection.

Overall, the team observed that people whose blood infections were caused by specific anaerobic bacteria had 42 times increase in the risk for colorectal cancer compared to those with aerobic bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli.

This discovery can help doctors to recommend screening for colorectal cancer in selected persons. However, more research is needed to help determine the causal relationship between colorectal cancer and blood infections.

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