Hepatitis C linked to increased risk of liver cancer, other cancers

April 2015 (Medical News Today)

Researchers have long known that patients with hepatitis C are at increased risk of liver cancer. But a new study recently presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver’s 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria, finds hepatitis C may also raise the risk of developing other cancers.

For their study, Dr. Nyberg and colleagues assessed all cancer diagnoses that had occurred at KPSC among HCV and non-HCV patients aged 18 and older between 2008 and 2012.

The researchers found that, compared with patients without HCV, patients with HCV are not only at increased risk of liver cancer but of other cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and prostate and renal cancers.

The team identified 2,213 cancer diagnoses among patients with HCV during the 5-year study period. When liver cancer was excluded, 1,654 cancer diagnoses remained. Among patients without HCV, 84,419 cancer diagnoses were identified, with 83,795 cancer diagnoses remaining after the exclusion of liver cancer.

Based on their findings, the researchers calculated that patients with HCV were 2.5 times more likely than non-HCV patients to be diagnosed with cancer, including liver cancer. When liver cancer was excluded, cancer risk was still almost two times higher for patients with HCV, according to the study.

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