As I just reported yesterday, in recent decades, there’s been a HUGE, troubling spike in the number of younger people getting colon cancer. And now, researchers think ANTIBIOTIC MISUSE could be to blame.
In fact, it seems that a young person under 50 with a history of using one type of common antibiotic has nearly an 800 percent higher risk of developing colon cancer compared to their peers.
I’ll tell you all about that very disturbing study in a moment. But first, let’s delve into why this new finding doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me…
The dangers of friendly fire
In the 19th century, before antibiotics came onto the scene, doctors tried to treat infections with toxic metals like arsenic and mercury. They hoped that the poison would kill the bacteria before it killed the patient. (Sounds rather like modern cancer treatments, doesn’t it?)
Then came antibiotics.
Doctors initially considered them “magic bullets,” meaning they could target the bacteria without harming the patient.
But we now know these magic bullets are really “friendly fire.” And they certainly harm the patient…it just may take longer than arsenic or mercury.
I first pointed out the dangers of antibiotics 25 years ago, when I directed the College of Physicians in Philadelphia. And I’ve been talking about their many problems ever since…
Short- and long-term problems of antibiotics
First off, antibiotics cause initial harm because they indiscriminately kill off both “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome—the environment in your gut where billions of healthy probiotic bacteria thrive.
This disruption causes short-term digestive problems, such as diarrhea and stomach pain. But over time, it can also lead to long-term problems and harm your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Plus, we now know the microbiome is a key part of the mind-body-immune axis. And it’s really the front-line of your overall health. Meaning that, disrupting it repeatedly (with antibiotics) can harm your overall health, brain function, and the all-important immune system—which protects us from infections in the first place.
So, knowing about this strong gut-immune system connection, I suppose it was only a matter of time before we found a connection between antibiotics and cancer as well…
New study looks at antibiotic-cancer link
Over the last 20 years, there’s been a global, growing epidemic of colon cancer among younger, normal weight people with no known risk factors. Meanwhile, there has also been a massive increase in the use and abuse of antibiotics—particularly during the entire lifetimes of these younger victims under the age of 50 years.
So, for this new study, researchers analyzed a large primary care database in Scotland. They found nearly 8,000 cases of colon cancer diagnosed between 1999 and 2011 and compared them to more than 30,000 people without colon cancer, as matched controls.
Overall, they found a strong link between antibiotic use and an increased risk of colon cancer across all ages. And use of ANY antibiotics—even just one course of them—was associated with a 10 percent increase in colon cancer risk among all cases.
Not to mention, people under 50 years of age who used antibiotics had an almost 50 percent higher colon cancer risk.
Location also seemed to be a factor…
In fact, when it came to cancer in the proximal colon (also known as the ascending colon), people under 50 who used antibiotics had nearly a FOUR TIMES greater risk!
And when it came to cancer in the distal colon (also known as the descending colon), some types of antibiotics proved more dangerous than others. For example:
- Quinolones had a nearly EIGHT times increased risk for cancer in the proximal colon among the under-50 group.
- Sulfonamides/trimethoprim had a nearly FIVE times increased risk for cancer of the proximal colon among the under-50 group.
Dr. Sarah Perrott of the University of Aberdeen said, “With cases of colorectal cancer increasing among young, non-obese patients with no risk factors, our study provides further reasons to reduce, where possible, frequent and unnecessary antibiotic prescribing.”
Sadly, some decades ago, doctors started prescribing antibiotics much more often (and unnecessarily), including for children and younger people. And that generation is now hitting adulthood…where we’re seeing the terrible effects of this overuse.
Adding to the misery, when colon cancer occurs at younger ages, the prognosis is worse and more likely to become fatal. Plus, experts think that physicians are less likely to investigate abdominal problems for colon cancer among patients in their 30s, 40s, or 50s compared to people in their 70s.
Of course, even with all this information in hand, the researchers dragged out the old line at the end of their report that “more research is needed.” One of the “expert” commentators who said it was too early to make the connection also disclosed conflicts of interest in relationships with no less than 10 drug companies!
Well, I certainly don’t need more research to recommend avoiding antibiotics WHENEVER possible! And I hope you don’t, either.
Remember, it’s important for you to become your own health advocate. Speak up if you think something’s wrong—OR if you have questions about the necessity of an antibiotic prescription. Then, start making some dietary changes, as I outlined yesterday, to help support your gut health and lower colon cancer risk. A healthy, balanced diet filled with prebiotic foods is a great place to start.
In addition, there are dozens of safe, natural alternatives to help prevent, detect, AND treat colon cancer. I’ve outlined them all in my groundbreaking online learning tool, my Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“SO-25 Global rise in early-onset colorectal cancer: An association with antibiotic consumption?” European Society for Medical Oncology World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer, 7/2/21. 32(2): S213. doi.org/10.1016/j.annonc.2021.05.049