Liver Cancer Risk for Hepatitis C Cut in Half with Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral Therapy Cuts Liver Cancer Risk in Hepatitis C patients
October 25, 2012
Hepatitis C is one of the most common viral infections in the world and it increases the risk for liver cancer. But researchers have discovered that treatment with antiviral drugs could cut in half the risk of developing the most common and deadly form of liver cancer.
There are close to 200 million people around the world who are infected with hepatitis C, or HCV, a viral disease that can be transmitted sexually or through contaminated blood transfusions. The chronic, debilitating liver infection, which causes fatigue, muscle aches and jaundice, is a major risk factor for developing hepatocellular carcinoma – the most common form of liver cancer worldwide. Now, Danish researchers have found evidence that HCV patients who receive antiviral therapy not only have less inflammation but are also at significantly lower risk of developing liver cancer.
The researchers 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 very small. Patients who cleared the Hepatitis C virus had an 85 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer.
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