Antiviral drugs could cut liver cancer risk from Hepatitis C
Danish researchers find antiviral therapy significantly reduces risk
Hepatitis C, a virus that is common and relatively easy to catch, leaves lifelong compromised health, in particular increasing the risk of liver cancer. Danish researchers have discovered that treatment with antiviral drugs could cut in half the risk of developing that strain of cancer.
This cute plush figure is intended to represent Hepatitis C, and the attendant danger associated with the disease.
Hepatitis C is a chronic, debilitating liver infection, which causes fatigue, muscle aches and jaundice. The disease is also a major risk factor for developing hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common form of liver cancer worldwide.
There is hope. Researchers now say patients who managed to keep the virus at bay with interferon drugs for six months were virtually cured, and the chances of a relapse and the development of cancer were minimal. Patients who cleared the Hepatitis C virus had an 85 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer.
To back up these findings, a group of 1174 patients who received no antiviral interferon treatment, 129 patients developed liver cancer. In a similar-sized group of patients who were treated, only 81 developed liver cancer, which was equivalent to a reduction in cancer risk of 47 percent. Both groups were monitored for between five and eight years.
Gastroenterologist at Copenhagen University Nina Kimer led the study. She says those who took the drugs, but did not have a robust response also have a lower risk of developing cancer.
"We were not the first study to show this, but our findings definitely support this hypothesis that the non-responders to treatment are also protected when they are treated," Kimer says.
Kimer says the study's findings suggest early detection and treatment of hepatitis C is very important.
"If people come into [the] hospital with stomach aches, we do not just conclude one thing. We try out many options. So the disease is diagnosed earlier," she said.
Hepatitis C usually leads to cancer by causing cirrhosis or scarring of the liver.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Health News
- Malaria cases spread to higher elevations
- Alzheimer's to join cancer, heart disease as one of America's top fatal conditions
- Birthing centers not provided for under health care reform
- Lots of proteins can BE BAD FOR YOU! 'As bad for health as smoking,' new study finds
- OUTBREAK: 53 people in 10 states stricken with measles
- Popular overdose drug rises in cost, to keep up with demand
- ANCIENT SCOURGE: leprosy, still very much alive in the world today, goes back 10 million years
- CONTROVERSY: Is dyslexia a 'meaningless label' to excuse bad reading skills?
- Horrid polio-like disease stalking children in California, may be very widespread
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?