Monday, August 25, 2008
Antibiotic Use Linked to Increase Cancer Risk
More alarming news today in the field of medicine; a new study finds that antibiotic use increased the risk of several types of cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. Similar studies have been done in the past and this study supports the evidence. Scientists looked at data from over 3 million patients. Antibiotic use has been linked to other major issues the most severe being that of antibiotic resistance. This link to cancer is even more significant to health and the risk increases with increased antibiotic use. Of course antibiotics are necessary at times and can save lives, but since their inception in the 1940's they have been both misused and overused. It is always good to question an antibiotic prescription and ask if it is really necessary. Oftentimes a physician will prescribe an antibiotic just for patient satisfaction.
Most antibiotics are prescribed for self limiting illnesses that tend to improve on their own such as children's middle ear infection (otitis media) or bronchitis. Research studies have found that antibiotics are unnecessary for uncomplicated cases of both of these conditions.
There are also many ways that herbs can help relieve symptoms of these conditions. Gargle with sage tea for a sore throat. Make eardrops by infusing garlic in a little olive oil. Essential oil of lavender can be added to that to soothe a fuss child. For more information see my book "The Antibiotic Alternative."
The relationship between antibiotics and cancer is not known and how antibiotics would influence a cell to grow uncontrollably as in cancer has not yet been identified.
International Journal of Cancer 2008 Aug 14, doi: 10.1002/ijc.23622