Treatable infection are said to cause 2m cases of cancer in the world each year

Treatable infection are said to cause 2m cases of cancer in the world each year

One in six cancers are caused by preventable infections, research has indicated.

Bacteria, viruses and parasites cause around 2m cases of cancer in the world each year, experts believe.

Of the 7.5m global deaths from cancer in 2008, an estimated 1.5m may have been due to potentially preventable or treatable infections.

The Lancet Oncology review, which looked at incidence rates for 27 cancers in 184 countries, found four main infections are responsible.

These four - human papillomaviruses, Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis B and C viruses - account for 1.9m cases of cervical, gut and liver cancers.

"Application of existing public health methods for infection prevention, such as vaccination, safer injection practice or antimicrobial treatments, could have a substantial effect on the future burden of cancer worldwide," said the report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.

Cervical cancer accounted for around half of infection-related women's cancers. In men, more than 80 per cent of infection-related cancers affected the liver, stomach and colon.

Dr Catherine de Martel and Dr Martyn Plummer, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, wrote in the Lancet Oncology journal: "Infections with certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites are one of the biggest and preventable causes of cancer worldwide … Application of existing public-health methods for infection prevention, such as vaccination, safer injection practice, or antimicrobial treatments, could have a substantial effect on future burden of cancer worldwide."


by for v5.femalefirst.co.uk
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