The earliest signs of deadly stomach cancer could be detected years before symptoms develop using a medical mouthwash, a new study suggests.  

Researchers from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in New Jersey used a ‘swish and spit’ oral rinse to find signs of the disease.

Specifically, they found telltale changes in bacteria in the mouths of people who went on to develop the disease. 

Stomach cancer — the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide — is particularly deadly as symptoms often mimic other, less serious conditions, meaning the disease is spotted late, when it has spread to other parts of the body.

Some studies suggest the disease is rising in young people, echoing the current trend with many types of cancer, including colon cases that have risen more than 300 percent in teenagers over the past 20 years

The finding could mean that a simple 'swish and spit' oral rinse could be used as a screening tool to pick out people at a higher risk of stomach cancer

The finding could mean that a simple 'swish and spit' oral rinse could be used as a screening tool to pick out people at a higher risk of stomach cancer

The finding could mean that a simple ‘swish and spit’ oral rinse could be used as a screening tool to pick out people at a higher risk of stomach cancer

As pictured above, having no energy, unintentionally losing weight, constant indigestion, difficulty swallowing, feeling sick and a lump at the top of your tummy are all warning signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

As pictured above, having no energy, unintentionally losing weight, constant indigestion, difficulty swallowing, feeling sick and a lump at the top of your tummy are all warning signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

As pictured above, having no energy, unintentionally losing weight, constant indigestion, difficulty swallowing, feeling sick and a lump at the top of your tummy are all warning signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

In 2020, only 0.6 children ages 10 to 14 per 100,000 population were diagnosed with colorectal cancer compared to 0.1 per 100,000 in 1999 - a 500 percent increase

In 2020, only 0.6 children ages 10 to 14 per 100,000 population were diagnosed with colorectal cancer compared to 0.1 per 100,000 in 1999 - a 500 percent increase

Escalations were also found in older adults, with rates rising by 71 percent to 6.5 per 100,000 people in aged 30 to 34 and by 58 percent to 11.7 per 100,000 in ages 35 to 39 in 2020

Escalations were also found in older adults, with rates rising by 71 percent to 6.5 per 100,000 people in aged 30 to 34 and by 58 percent to 11.7 per 100,000 in ages 35 to 39 in 2020

In 2020, only 0.6 children ages 10 to 14 per 100,000 population were diagnosed with colorectal cancer compared to 0.1 per 100,000 in 1999 – a 500 percent increase. Escalations were also found in older adults, with rates rising by 71 percent to 6.5 per 100,000 people in aged 30 to 34 and by 58 percent to 11.7 per 100,000 in ages 35 to 39 in 2020

Country music star Toby Keith lost his battle with stomach cancer aged 62 in February 2024

Country music star Toby Keith lost his battle with stomach cancer aged 62 in February 2024

Country music star Toby Keith lost his battle with stomach cancer aged 62 in February 2024

The type of bacteria in the mouth and stomach are connected, the researchers found.

‘Knowing what bugs are in your mouth tells us what the stomach environment is like,’ said Dr Shruthi Reddy Perati, study author and general surgery resident at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine.

‘That has a huge implication that could lead to some practice-changing tests and guidelines.’

Researchers analyzed mouth bacteria samples from 98 patients scheduled for endoscopy — where a camera is inserted into the stomach via the throat to investigate digestive problems. 

The sample included 30 stomach cancer patients.

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They also tested samples from 30 people with precancerous stomach conditions, such as inflammation and thinning of the stomach lining, as well as 38 health control subjects.

These conditions do not always lead to cancer, but in people who undergo an endoscopy, one in 50 with inflammation of the stomach lining will develop stomach cancer in 20 years.

The doctors found key differences between the oral microbiomes – the microorganisms in the mouth – of the healthy group compared to the cancerous group and precancerous patients.

There was also very little difference between the samples from precancerous patients and those with cancer, suggesting the key changes happen and can be detected at the precancerous stage.

The researchers honed in on the 13 types of bacteria that showed the most significant differences between the control participants and cancerous and pre-cancerous patients.

Increases in bacteria including rothia, leptotrichia and lactobacillus, were seen in the microbiomes of patients with gastric cancer.

No formal screening guidelines for stomach cancer currently exist in the US.

There are around 11,130 deaths due to tumors in the stomach in the US every year.

It comes as other research showed colorectal cancers have risen by up to six-fold in some young age groups since 2000.

Doctors said the cancers are likely being missed because routine screening in America is only recommended every ten years beginning at age 45.

The trend of increasingly younger cancer cases has been linked to junk food, obesity and toxic chemicals.

Source: Mail Online

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