and the Mix of Bacteria Could Prevent or Encourage Cancer

If certain bacteria do instigate cancer, the finding could lead to new screening methods or treatments

The gut microbiome has stolen the show when it comes to the recent explosion of research on the bacteria that thrive within us. But bacteria also live in a woman’s breast tissue—and the mix of those microbes may have an equally important effect on health, according to a new study in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The results “suggest that microbes in the breast, even in low amounts, may be playing a role in breast cancer—increasing the risk in some cases and decreasing the risk in other cases,” says Gregor Reid, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Western University in Ontario and the study’s senior author.

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