According to a recent study conducted by a team of researchers, hepatitis C may be responsible for increasing the risk of liver cancer, as well as other types of cancer.
The scientists presented their findings at the European Association for the Study of the Liver’s 50th International Liver Congress held in Vienna, Austria.
The study suggests that patients who have the hepatitis C virus are 2.5 times more are risk of developing liver cancer, as compared to those who are not HCV positive.
Hepatitis C is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the liver, which results from an infection with the hepatitis C virus.
Recent reports show that more than 3.2 million people suffer from HCV in the United States, although about 80% of them are not aware that the carry the virus due to the fact that the disease does not present any symptoms.
The hepatitis C virus is contracted through the blood of a person who is already infected.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention notes that most cases of hepatitis C occur due to the use of infected needles.
Also, HCV can also be contracted through unprotected sexual contact with an infected patient.
Medical experts say that the virus can be spread by sharing personal care products, like razors and toothbrushes that may have come in contact with the blood of an infected person.
Some cases of hepatitis C occur when a person is born to a mother that is infected with the virus.
Researchers have established that HCV can increase the risk of developing liver cancer.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1-5 of 100 people that have hepatitis C die due to complications from liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Dr. Lisa Nyberg, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and her colleagues wanted to see exactly how hepatitis C can lead to various types of cancer.
For the study, the scientists analyzed all the cancer diagnoses from KPSC, among patients with hepatitis C and those who did not have the virus.
The scientists found that the patients who had HCV were at a higher risk of developing liver cancer and other forms of cancer, compared to those who were non-HCV.
The team of researchers was able to identify almost 2.213 cancer cases among the patients who had hepatitis C during the period the study lasted, which was for five years.
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