How is Antibiotic Use Linked to Cancer?


AntibioticsNew research indicates that heavy use of antibiotics during childhood increases the likelihood of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that affects the body's lymphatic system.

A "Striking" Association

Researchers looked at data from the Scandinavian Lymphoma Etiology study, which compared over 3,000 patients with NHL with a similar number of healthy patients. There was a "striking" association between antibiotic use and NHL for all subtypes of the disease, especially for those who had been given antibiotics more than 10 times as children.

A Cause, Or an Effect?

This could mean that the increasing use of antibiotics in the 20th century might also explain the rise in NHL cases. However, it is unknown whether antibiotic use caused the NHL, or if antibiotics are simply more likely to be taken by those prone to developing NHL.

Also True for NSAIDs

There was also an increased risk of NHL for heavy users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This includes ibuprofen drugs such as Motrin and Advil.

American Journal of Epidemiology November 15, 2005; 162(10): 965-974

Yahoo News November 19, 2005

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Physicians have a history of unwisely prescribing far too many antibiotics for children with sore throats.

I'm not opposed to all uses of antibiotics, as they have clearly benefited many that have used them. But overall they have harmed far more than they have benefited. It has been my experience that well over 95 percent of the time they are used inappropriately.

Does that mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water? Absolutely not. But more wise discernment is needed when they are used. 

The real truth is that most of the infections we acquire are not actually caused by some evil bacteria or virus. Most of the time we come down with an illness it is because we have violated one or more of the following three basic health principles:

  • Not enough sleep
  • Inability to cope properly with stress
  • Poor diet with too much sugar and too many grains

I am grateful we can use antibiotics as effective tools. However, most of the improvement we have had in health has been achieved without them.

In the past I have received a number of letters from physicians living in countries other than the United States denouncing the fact that I did not praise antibiotics because they have saved so many lives of children who would have died in earlier times.

It is clear that there are indeed times when antibiotics are needed and will benefit the person taking them. However, in the larger picture they are widely over-prescribed and, in my experience, rarely required if the adult or child is receiving optimized nutrition, adequate rest and appropriate interventions for stress.

What most physicians fail to realize is the enormous influence that sugar and grains have on the immune system. If you eat a typical American diet, you will likely obtain a variety of infections due to this immune impairment.

The solution to most any infectious illness does not involve an expensive drug or nutritional supplement but merely application of the basics that involve eating for your Metabolic Type, addressing unresolved emotional conflicts with tools like EFT and staying away from toxic poisons like sugar, mercury and, for most people, grains.

If you apply these basics your body has no choice but to stay healthy and heal. It is my strong clinical belief and frequent observation in my practice that each of us has been provided with an enormous array of biochemical mechanisms that are designed to generate health. Most of us have to regularly violate these principles for many years before we reap the fruits of our unhealthy choices.

Fortunately, the repair mechanisms work quite well for most of us and are activated once we apply these health basics.

So you don't need to live in fear of these frightening infections anymore. Just apply the program.

There are many practical considerations that are difficult to describe on the Web site, but believe me, the bulk of what we do for people who come to our clinic is apply the same information you'll find in The Total Health Program and help them resolve their emotional challenges with tools like EFT.

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