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Bacteria may predict colon cancer risk

Category: Gastrointestinal Diseases

Colon cancer can be difficult to detect in its earliest stages which can make the disease difficult to treat when it is found. However, researchers conducting colon cancer tests found several bacteria that may help determine with greater precision who is at risk for developing the deadly cancer.

The study from University of Florida investigators found that a certain type of bacteria is found in the fecal matter of people who have the cancer. Similarly, a unique bacteria was found in the tests of individuals with healthy colons.

Lead researcher Tyler Culpepper said that the findings may allow doctors to catch potentially dangerous growths at an earlier stage when they are more treatable.

"The results of this work suggest the feasibility of developing non-invasive screening tests based on detecting distortions in microbiota composition and a potential for the development of diet-based prevention regimen aimed at improving gut microbiota composition and reducing [colon cancer] risk," he said.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and accounted for nearly 50,000 deaths in 2009.
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