Hepatitis C and cancer: What to know

Hepatitis C is one of the leading causes of liver cancer. It’s also linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer in the bile ducts, and possibly pancreatic and head and neck cancers. And if you already have any other type of cancer, it can cause additional complications. That’s why MD Anderson tests all new patients for hepatitis C. The good news is that if it’s found early and treated, hepatitis C can be cured, reducing your risk for cancer and other complications. That’s why hepatitis C screening and treatment is so important. Unfortunately, an estimated 3.2 million people in the U.S. living with a chronic hepatitis C infection and don’t know they’re infected. In many cases, that’s because chronic hepatitis C doesn’t any symptoms until the liver shows signs of damage. We talked to Harrys Torres, M.D., associate professor of Infection Diseases and founding director of the hepatitis C clinic at MD Anderson, about what you should know about hepatitis C. Here’s what he had to say. What’s the link between hepatitis C and cancer?  There are two types of hepatitis C:  acute or short-term hepatitis C, which goes away on its own in less than six months chronic hepatitis C, which requires treatment The reason chronic hepatitis C causes multiple types of cancer is complex and not fully understood. The good news is that in most cases, hepatitis C infection can be cured with medication, and treatment can prevent many associated cancers. Who is at risk for hepatitis C? Baby boomers — people born between 1945 and 1965 — are at an especially high risk for hepatitis C infection. Other...

Hepatitis C and cancer: What to know

Hepatitis C is one of the leading causes of liver cancer. It’s also linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer in the bile ducts, and possibly pancreatic and head and neck cancers. And if you already have any other type of cancer, it can cause additional complications. That’s why MD Anderson tests all new patients for hepatitis C. The good news is that if it’s found early and treated, hepatitis C can be cured, reducing your risk for cancer and other complications. That’s why hepatitis C screening and treatment is so important. Unfortunately, an estimated 3.2 million people in the U.S. living with a chronic hepatitis C infection and don’t know they’re infected. In many cases, that’s because chronic hepatitis C doesn’t any symptoms until the liver shows signs of damage. We talked to Harrys Torres, M.D., associate professor of Infection Diseases and founding director of the hepatitis C clinic at MD Anderson, about what you should know about hepatitis C. Here’s what he had to say. What’s the link between hepatitis C and cancer?  There are two types of hepatitis C:  acute or short-term hepatitis C, which goes away on its own in less than six months chronic hepatitis C, which requires treatment The reason chronic hepatitis C causes multiple types of cancer is complex and not fully understood. The good news is that in most cases, hepatitis C infection can be cured with medication, and treatment can prevent many associated cancers. Who is at risk for hepatitis C? Baby boomers — people born between 1945 and 1965 — are at an especially high risk for hepatitis C infection. Other...