Having hepatitis C makes it two to five times more likely that a person will develop some types of head and neck cancers.
Patients with hepatitis C were two to five times more likely to develop some types of head and neck cancers, according to a study conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The study looked at 10 years of data on patients with new-onset primary or pharyngeal or nonoropharyngeal head or neck cancers who had been tested for the hepatitis C virus, according to an MD Anderson news release. The findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
In 2009, MD Anderson opened the first clinic at a comprehensive cancer center in the United States to focus on unmet needs of patients with cancer who were also infected with HCV, stated the release.
“Obviously, a hepatitis C infection could impact how patients respond to their cancer therapy,” Harrys A. Torres, MD, the clinic’s director and an associate professor in the department of infectious disease, infection control and employee health at MD Anderson, stated in the release. “We also realized that many of our hepatitis patients were excluded from clinical trials. Now that many with hepatitis C can be cured, it is important that we first address and potentially cure the virus, so that they can have access to necessary cancer therapy.”
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