The number of Americans with cancer and the likelihood of having it increases when they have an oral infection, according to a new study published online in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health looked at data from more than 2.6 million adults in the U.S. to identify people with oral cancer.
In addition to looking at cancer prevalence and age, the researchers looked at risk factors for oral cancer, including a family history of the disease and exposure to oral cancer-causing chemicals.
They found that people who were not vaccinated with the oral-cancer vaccine, known as the AZT, were at an increased risk of developing the disease.
The researchers said the findings provide a clearer picture of how the vaccine works and suggest the vaccine is important for preventing the disease among those at greatest risk.
“It is really important for our communities to understand how the oral vaccination program can prevent oral cancers, because it does have an impact on oral health,” said co-author Jennifer Stoltenberg, a professor of preventive medicine at the University.
Researchers said that the increase in the risk of cancer is linked to the type of oral bacteria found in people with the infection.
They said that while oral bacteria has been linked to cancer, it also has a protective effect.
“We know that people with certain oral bacteria are more likely to develop oral cancer,” said Stolstenberg.
The team looked at how different types of oral-cancer bacteria interact with the immune system, and found that the bacteria that live in the mouth are particularly vulnerable to the immune response.
The researchers said they hope that by better understanding the types of bacteria and the immune responses that affect the immune systems, they will be able to develop new strategies for oral health prevention.
In the future, Stolstrom said it could be possible to develop a new vaccine specifically designed for oral-health prevention.
The vaccine could also be used to help people who have oral cancer avoid other potentially deadly infections.
“That is the goal of the next stage of the vaccine,” she said.
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