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There are myriad ways that breast cancer can affect you, mentally and physically, but did you know there is a new potential cause of breast cancer that researchers are investigating?
It has long been understood that the microbiome in the gut (all the bacteria and fungi that live there) could play an important role in disease and the development of it.
A new line of enquiry has confirmed what many breast cancer researchers have known for a long time: that breast tissues has a microbiome of its own, and that this may play a role in the development of cancer.
A research team have shown that healthy breast tissue contains more of the bacterial species Methylobacterium, than it does in those with breast cancer.
“Our hope is to find a biomarker that would help us diagnose breast cancer quickly and easily. In our wildest dreams, we hope we can use microbiomics right before breast cancer forms and then prevent cancer with probiotics or antibiotics,” said co-senior author Charis Eng, chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute and director of the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare
The team also found that breast cancer patients’ urine samples had higher levels of gram positive bacteria than people without breast cancer, though scientists are unsure what roll this plays.
The study has been published in the journal Oncotarget.