Unhealthy gut helps breast cancer spread, study finds

An unhealthy gut can trigger changes in breast tissue, leading to breast cancer metastasis, research by UVA Cancer Center found.

The gut microbiome, when disrupted by poor diet, long-term antibiotic use, obesity and other factors, can reprogram mast cells, important immune cells, in healthy breast tissue. Mast cells can accumulate in the breast, depositing more collagen, which can spur early cancer spread.

These findings could help scientists develop ways to prevent breast cancer from metastasizing.

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