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Antibiotics Exposure Linked to Increased Colon Cancer Risk

In an extensive “data mining” analysis of British medical records, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center conclude that taking even a single course of antibiotics might boost—albeit slightly—the risk of developing colon cancer—but not rectal cancer—a decade later. The findings, reported in the August 20 issue of the journal Gut , highlight the need for judicious use of this broad category of drugs, which are frequently improperly or overprescribed, the report authors say.  “The primary message of this study is the importance of antibiotic stewardship: not treating common viral infections with antibiotics, using them for the shortest time period possible, and using targeted antibiotics rather than broad spectrum ones,” says study leader Cynthia L. Sears, M.D., Bloomberg~Kimmel Professor of Cancer Immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. “This research adds to our understanding that these drugs can have significant off-target effects, including the induction of chronic illnesses.”  Read more....

 

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