An analysis of the medical records of patients who suffer from HCV shows that those patients had double the risk of developing many common cancers. This analysis was performed in San Diego by Anders Nyberg, MD. Nyberg is a part of Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

What is HCV?

HCV is Hepatitis C. This disease is known to cause liver damage and to increase the odds of people developing liver cancer.

Hepatitis C is contracted by coming into contact with the blood of an infected individual. Most people who get HCV will eventually develop chronic cases of the disease.

Chronic cases of the disease are the ones that present with liver damage and with liver cancers.

More than three million people in the United States have this liver disease. Seventy five to eighty five people out of one hundred people who have HCV will develop chronic infections.

Between five and twenty percent of every one hundred people who have HCV develops cirrhosis of the liver. Between one and five of every one hundred people with this disease will die due to cirrhosis of the liver.

Factors that impact HCV

People who use alcohol will have cases of HCV that progress more quickly, or that are more likely to result in death. Other factors that cause more rapid progress of the disease include age, weight, and other infections like HIV.

The Study

This study was conducted from January of 2008 until December of 2012. Medical records of 145,210 patients who had HCV and the medical records of 13,948,826 who did not have HCV were compared.

Number of Cancer Cases

Excluding liver cancer there were 83,785 cases of cancer reported. When liver cancer was included into the analysis, 84,419 cases of cancer were documented.

That suggests that about six hundred and one patients out of every one hundred thousand patients with HCV will develop some form of cancer.

Liver cancer rates amongst people with HCV were about sixty eight times higher than it was amongst people of the same age that did not have HCV.

Considerations for Alcohol and Tobacco Usage

During the study, researchers took note of patients who were alcohol users, those who used tobacco products, and those patients who had diabetes. They also took into consideration any patient who was obese or had a body mass index higher than thirty.

The individuals who had the higher body mass index, those who were reported tobacco users, and those who had diabetes, had higher instances of cancer reported than the people who did not have the complications. The people who were alcohol users did not show a significant rise in the number of cancer.

When the researchers looked into just liver cancer, the results were slightly different. For liver cancer, the people who had a higher body mass index were not reported to be any more likely to develop liver cancer than those people who were of normal weights. The people who used tobacco products, used alcohol, or had diabetes were more prone to developing liver cancer than others.

Sr. Nyberg reported that the research showed that even when the results of patients who used alcohol, tobacco, or had diabetes were removed from the collected data, there was still a significant increase in the number of cases of cancer amongst people with HCV.