EASL 2015: Cancer rates among patients with hepatitis C are increased compared to those not infected

New results show that cancer rates in patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) were significantly increased compared to the non-HCV cohort. The researchers suggest an extrahepatic manifestation of HCV may be an increased risk of cancer. 

Results recently announced at The International Liver CongressTM 2015 show that cancer rates in patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) were significantly increased compared to the non-HCV cohort. The researchers suggest an extrahepatic manifestation of HCV may be an increased risk of cancer. When all cancers are considered the rate is 2.5 times higher in the HCV cohort; when liver cancers are excluded, the rate is still almost 2 times higher.

The aim of the study was to describe the rates of all cancers in the cohort of HCV patients compared to the non-HCV population. Known cancer types associated with hepatitis C include non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, renal and prostate cancers, as well as liver cancer.

A retrospective study at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, USA, was conducted. The study authors recorded all cancer diagnoses in patients over 18 years of age with or without HCV during 2008-2012. Within the timeframe of the study 145,210 patient years were included in the HCV cohort, and 13,948,826 patient years were included in the non-HCV cohort.

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