Infections

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Does Infection Really Cause Cancer? Worldwide approximately 18% of cancer deaths are related to infectious diseases.This proportion varies in different regions of the world from a high of 25% in Africa to less than 10% in the developed world.


Viruses are the usual infectious agents that cause cancer but bacteria and parasites may also have an effect. A virus that can cause cancer is called an oncovirus. These include human papillomavirus (cervical carcinoma), Epstein–Barr virus (B-cell lymphoproliferative disease andnasopharyngeal carcinoma), Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (Kaposi's sarcoma and primary effusion lymphomas), hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses (hepatocellular carcinoma), and Human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (T-cell leukemias).


Bacterial infection may also increase the risk of cancer, as seen in Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric carcinoma.Parasitic infections strongly associated with cancer include Schistosoma haematobium (squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder) and the liver flukes, Opisthorchis viverrini andClonorchis sinensis (cholangiocarcinoma).





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