Even though pancreatic cancer is not very prevalent around the world, it is the most deadly form of cancer. According to the statistics of the American Cancer Society, only 8 percent of the people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for more than five years after diagnosis. And that’s the lowest survival rate of the more than 20 distinct forms of cancer. Early diagnosis for pancreatic cancer can make the difference but, unfortunately, not many options are available at the moment. According to a new study, tongue bacteria might indicate early-stage pancreatic cancer, so increasing the chances for survival in patients.
Pancreatic cancer is an elusive form of the disease, as it’s silently evolving without showing any symptoms until it reaches an already advanced stage. In an advanced stage, the current medicine has now solutions against pancreatic cancer, so all the struggle, until a cancer cure comes out, is to diagnose pancreatic cancer in its early stages.
Tongue Bacteria Might Help Doctors Identify Pancreatic Cancer In Its Early Stages
Until now, many studies have struggled to come up with reliable solutions to diagnose pancreatic cancer in its early stages. While some researchers think that this form of cancer produces some biomarkers that could be found in urine and blood, some other scientists focused on gut bacteria to search for early signs of pancreatic cancer.
Now, a team of Chinese scientists believes that tongue bacteria might help identify pancreatic cancer in its early stages. Tongue inspection is one of the most applied methods in traditional Chinese medicine. Practitioners think that tongue reveals the health of several organs in the body. Starting from that, Chinese researchers studied the link between tongue bacteria and pancreatic cancer. And indeed, analyzing tongue bacteria might help doctors identify pancreatic cancer in its early stages.
“Although further confirmatory studies are needed, our results add to the growing evidence of an association between disruptions to the microbiome and pancreatic cancer. If an association between the discriminatory bacteria and pancreatic cancer is confirmed in larger studies, this could potentially lead to the development of new microbiome-based early diagnostic or preventive tools for the disease,” said Lanjuan Li, the study’s leading author.