When the body's immune system detects pathogens or cell damage, it activates an influx of cells called macrophages and neutrophils. These cells' job is to engulf bacteria, dead cells and debris: proteins, nucleic acids and other molecules released by dead or damaged cells. As part of this process, the cells produce highly reactive chemicals that help degrade the bacteria.
"In doing this, in engulfing the bacteria and dumping these reactive chemicals on them, the chemicals also diffuse out into the tissue, and that's where the problem comes in," Dedon says.
If sustained over a long period, that inflammation can eventually lead to cancer. A recent study published in the journal The Lancet found that infections account for about 16 percent of new cancer cases worldwide [bold added].
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Infection - Inflammation - Cancer Connection
Per a study from MIT: