Link Between Oral Bacteria and Pancreatic Cancer

While 50,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer annually, only 5,000 of these patients will be alive in 5 years. This grim statistic is due to the difficulty in diagnosing pancreatic cancer early. Now a link between periodontal disease bacteria and the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer may be the key to early detection. A 2016 article in JAMA reveals that the presence of two periodontal disease causing bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis  and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, increased the likelihood of pancreatic cancer by 50% or more. While there is no evidence that these bacteria are the cause of pancreatic cancer, determining the relationship between them will help develop tests to detect pancreatic cancer risk much earlier.