Study: Tuberculosis increases the risk of lung cancer

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Study: Tuberculosis increases the risk of lung cancer

Tuberculosis (TBC) increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Taiwanese scientists have found that patients with tuberculosis are around 11 times more likely than normal to get lung cancer.

As a result of their extensive study, the scientists from China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan report in the current issue of the "Journal of Thoracic Oncology" that they evaluated the data of almost 720,000 people. In advance, 4,480 patients who had tuberculosis between 1998 and 2000 and around 712,000 people without a corresponding diagnosis of tuberculosis (as a control group) were determined to participate in the study. To date, none of the study participants had ever been diagnosed with cancer. To determine the relationship between TBC and lung cancer, the researchers observed from 2001 to 2007 how many study participants developed bronchial carcinoma. Your result, which has now been published: The risk of developing lung cancer after tuberculosis was around 11 times (exactly 10.9) higher than that of the control group. Statistically, there were 2.4 lung cancer diagnoses in 10,000 people in the control group, compared to 26.3 in tuberculosis patients, according to the researchers in the specialist magazine of the international association for the study of lung cancer (IASLC).

Tuberculosis: the deadliest infectious disease worldwide The scientists emphasized that their study provides scientifically “convincing evidence” for an increased risk of lung cancer due to TBC, even if the effects of the connection have to be examined in more detail. The researchers are convinced that their findings should flow into the treatment of tuberculosis. Measures to improve lung cancer screening and prevention for TBC patients are an important step, the scientists explained. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than two billion people worldwide are currently infected with TBC and another case is added every second. However, the disease breaks out in just under 10 percent of those infected in the course of their lives. According to the WHO, almost nine million people contract TB each year, with over 1.6 million people dying each year as a result of the disease. Tuberculosis is still the deadliest of all infectious diseases. AIDS patients have a particularly high risk of becoming ill because their immune system is unable to ward off the TBC pathogens. The majority of TBC-related deaths occur in developing countries because the lengthy treatment required with the relatively expensive antibiotics is inadequate. Half of all TBC cases were found in Asia. In Germany, the number of TBC diseases has been declining for years and in 2008, according to the Robert Koch Institute, only 4,543 patients fell ill with tuberculosis in Germany.

Tuberculosis as a risk factor for lung cancer While numerous risk factors (asbestos, chromium, tobacco smoke) for an increased risk of lung cancer have already been identified, the connection with the occurrence of TBC is new medical ground. Chih-Yi Chen of the China Medical University in China said that it has long been "well known that lung cancer is causally related to smoking," but recent results suggest that the global fight against tuberculosis could also help prevent lung cancer As part of the current publication. According to the Robert Koch Institute, around 50,000 people develop lung cancer in Germany every year - and the trend is rising. The number of deaths per year is currently around 40,000 in Germany, whereby men are affected more than twice as often as women. (fp)

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