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Cancer Caused By Treatable Infections

Cancer Caused By Treatable Infections

According to a recent study, scientists determined that approximately 16% of all cancers are caused by viruses, parasites and infections.  This amounts to somewhere around 1.5-2 million cancers globally that could have been prevented, according to a recent paper published in the medical oncology journal The Lancet.

According to the study, helicobacter pylori (the bacteria which causes stomach ulcers), as well as hepatitis (both B and C) viruses, and human papilloma viruses (HPV) accounted for a staggering 1.9 million cases in 2008. These cancers included cancers of the stomach, liver, cervix and uterus. Even more concerning is that approximately 30% of the cancers cause by infections occured in people who were aged 50 years or younger. 

In under developed countries, the infection attributable cancers were up to 3 times more prevalent than in industrialized countries. 

Currently there are vaccinations available for the HPV virus, and hepatitis B and C viruses. Antibiotic therapy is effective in obliterating helicobacter pylori. It is reasonable to assume that most, if not all, of these cancerous lesions could have been prevented.  

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