Could Bacteria Protect Against Breast Cancer?

By: Courtney Floyd


Could bacteria protect against breast cancer? 

The American Society of Microbiology released findings from a recent Applied and Environmental Microbiology study showing bacteria in your breast tissue could impact your breast cancer risk.

Researchers examined bacteria found within breast tissue of 58 women who were undergoing lumpectomy or mastectomy (45 women had breast cancer and 13 had benign growths) and compared them to breast tissue samples taken from 23 healthy women who were undergoing breast reduction or augmentation surgery.

The finding showed the women with breast cancer had higher numbers of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (Staph) while the healthy women had higher numbers of Lactobacillus and Streptococcus thermophiles (both can be found in yogurt) which are considered to be health promoting bacteria.

“Bacteria that have the potential to abet breast cancer are present in the breasts of cancer patients, while beneficial bacteria are more abundant in healthy breasts, where they may actually be protecting women from cancer,” says Gregor Reid, PhD.

Much more research needs to be done before any recommendations can be made, but these are definitely interesting findings! Probiotics could one day prove to be the key to reducing the risk of breast cancer.

You can read more about the study here

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