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A recent study at Stanford University has shown women with breast cancer who were prescribed multiple courses of antibiotics within three years of diagnosis have a higher risk of disease recurrence and death than those who took fewer courses of antibiotics.
The risk of death increased between 5% and 18% for each additional antibiotic prescription compared to breast cancer patients who did not receive antibiotics.
The researchers believe the link between antibiotics and lymphocyte numbers may be due to the impact on the gut bacteria or microbiome. These bacteria help us digest food and affect other aspects of our health, including how our immune systems respond to emerging threats like infection or cancer.
Although the risk to individual patients is insignificant, the study raises important questions about the clinical care of cancer patients.
Read More: 9 Scary Symptoms of Breast Cancer