Re­searchers in Hong Kong con­nect hep­ati­tis with liver can­cer

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Science News -

Re­searchers in Hong Kong have found that hep­ati­tis B treat­ment re­duces the in­ci­dence of liver can­cer. Hep­ati­tis B is a com­mon in­fec­tious dis­ease caused by the hep­ati­tis B virus (HBV). Hep­ati­tis B can be trans­mit­ted through blood and body flu­ids, through sex­ual con­tact, the trans­fu­sion of con­tam­i­nated blood and the shar­ing of con­tam­i­nated nee­dles.

The in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod of HBV ranges from 45 to 160 days. In Hong Kong, ap­prox­i­mately eight per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion are in­fected with HBV. If not de­tected early, pa­tients who are in­fected with HBV will be­come chronic car­ri­ers of the virus.

In this study, the re­search team at the Univer­sity of Hong Kong (HKU) ob­tained 14-year HBV treat­ment data in spe­cial­ist out­pa­tient clin­ics from the Hos­pi­tal Au­thor­ity. The team sta­tis­ti­cally stud­ied the ef­fect of HBV treat­ment on liver can­cer trends from 1990 to 2012 and con­firmed that HBV treat­ment is as­so­ci­ated with a re­duc­tion in over­all liver can­cer in­ci­dence. The team also stud­ied the ef­fect of treat­ment in spe­cific age groups. The HKU study con­firms the ef­fec­tive­ness of HBV treat­ment in re­duc­ing the bur­den of liver can­cer. Thus, HKU en­cour­ages HBV-in­fected pa­tients to re­ceive long-term fol­low-up con­sul­ta­tions with their physi­cians, seek­ing treat­ment when nec­es­sary.

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