Infection with the hepatitis C virus appears to raise the chances of developing head and neck cancers, according to new research.
Hepatitis C may increase the risk for certain types of head and neck cancers, researchers say.
Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection caused by a virus. It’s the most common bloodborne infection in the United States, affecting as many as 3.5 million people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many are unaware they have the infection.
“What we are trying to make all understand is that this is an infection that has consequences — and it’s an infection we can cure,” said study leader Dr. Harrys Torres, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
It’s already known that people with hepatitis C have a significantly higher risk of liver cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to the researchers.
Antiviral drugs cure more than 90 percent of hepatitis C cases, and screening and treatment could prevent cancer from developing, Torres said in a center news release.
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