Well­ness Arti­cles

Breast Can­cer Linked to Antibi­otic Use

From the Feb­ru­ary 18, 2004 issue of the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, (JAMA) comes an alarm­ing study that sug­gests that breast can­cer is linked to the use of antibi­otics. Researchers pored over the med­ical records of thou­sands of Amer­i­can women and found that those who took the drugs most often had twice the risk of the disease.

Dr. John D. Pot­ter, direc­tor of the divi­sion of pub­lic health sci­ences at the Fred Hutchin­son Can­cer Research cen­tre in Seat­tle and an author of the report noted, “This is poten­tially wor­ri­some, but we don’t know why this con­nec­tion exists, we only have an obser­va­tion.” He went on to qual­ify his find­ings by say­ing, “At the moment, we need to see these results repli­cated with more research before draw­ing any conclusions.”

This was not the only study on this phe­nom­e­non as in 2000, sci­en­tists in Fin­land found that women younger than 50 who had taken antibi­otics for uri­nary tract infec­tions also had an ele­vated risk for get­ting cancer.

The orig­i­nal JAMA study ended with a com­pelling con­clu­sion, “Use of antibi­otics is asso­ci­ated with increased risk of inci­dent and fatal breast can­cer. It can­not be deter­mined from this study whether antibi­otic use is causally related to breast can­cer, or whether indi­ca­tion for use, over­all weak­ened immune func­tion, or other fac­tors are per­ti­nent under­ly­ing expo­sures. Although fur­ther stud­ies are needed, these find­ings rein­force the need for pru­dent long-​term use of antibiotics.”

Ran­dom Article

A story appeared in the Decem­ber 22, 2002 News­day news­pa­per telling of an asth­matic woman named Vanessa. On Sep­tem­ber 15, 2002, Vanessa had a severe

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