A series of breakthroughs in our understanding of the links between infections and cancer in the past 60 years has been accompanied by increasing prospects for cancer prevention.
Date: December 17, 2019
Source: The Lancet – Global Health
Author: Catherine de Martel, MD
Excerpt: “Infectious pathogens are strong and modifiable causes of cancer. The aim of this study was to improve estimates of the global and regional burden of infection-attributable cancers to inform research priorities and facilitate prevention efforts.” […] “We found that, for 2018, an estimated 2·2 million infection-attributable cancer cases were diagnosed worldwide, corresponding to an infection-attributable ASIR of 25·0 cases per 100 000 person-years. Primary causes were Helicobacter pylori (810 000 cases, ASIR 8·7 cases per 100 000 person-years), human papillomavirus (690 000, 8·0), hepatitis B virus (360 000, 4·1) and hepatitis C virus (160 000, 1·7). Infection-attributable ASIR was highest in eastern Asia (37·9 cases per 100 000 person-years) and sub-Saharan Africa (33·1), and lowest in northern Europe (13·6) and western Asia (13·8). China accounted for a third of worldwide cancer cases attributable to infection, driven by high ASIR of H pylori (15·6) and hepatitis B virus (11·7) infection. The cancer burden attributed to human papillomavirus showed the clearest relationship with country income level (from ASIR of 6·9 cases per 100 000 person-years in high-income countries to 16·1 in low-income countries).”