Scientists have now suggested that people infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) are at a greater chance of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cancers of the kidney, liver and prostate. Cancer rates in HCV patients were found to be more than double when compared to those not suffering from it.

These findings have come to the fore as researchers at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, US set forth to describe the rates of all cancers in the cohort of HCV patients compared to the non-HCV population.

For the purpose of finding that out, they recorded all cancer diagnoses in patients aged 18 and above during 2008-2012, whether or not they suffered from HCV.

2,213 cancer diagnoses (1,524/100,000) were found in the HCV cohort during the five-year period and 1,654 cancer diagnoses when liver cancer was excluded (1,139/100,000). In the non-HCV cohort, 84,419 cancer diagnoses (605/100,000) were found during the same five-year period and 83,795 (601/100,000) when liver cancer was excluded.

When all cancers were included, the rate was found to be 2.5 times higher in the HCV cohort.

“The results suggest that cancer rates are increased in the cohort of hepatitis C patients versus the non-hepatitis C patients, both including and excluding liver cancers,” said senior author of the study Lisa Nyberg from the Kaiser Permanente, Southern California.

“These findings certainly point to the suggestion that hepatitis C may be associated with an increased risk of cancer,” Nyberg noted.

The authors of this study which was presented at The International Liver Congress 2015 in Vienna, Austria however warned against interpreting jumping to conclusions from these findings, since these results were modified by confounding factors like alcohol abuse, tobacco, obesity, and diabetes.

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