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Colorectal cancer risk linked to stomach bacterium, inflammation

Common ulcer-causing infection more frequent in people with polyps

WASHINGTON — A chronic stomach infection or high levels of inflammation may place a person at risk of colon cancer — or serve as an early warning sign of the disease — according to two studies presented April 19 at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Past research has shown that chronic infections or persistent inflammation increase cancer risk in the lungs, liver and other tissues, said William Nelson, a medical oncologist at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, in Baltimore, who didn’t participate in either study. “It’s a growing trend,” he said. The new studies offer evidence “that colon cancer is the next one knocking on the door,” Nelson said.

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