Hep C ups cancer risk

Hepatitis C infection increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by up to 30 per cent, claim US scientists.

For the study, 146,394 patients with hepatitis C and 572,293 people free from the infection were retrospectively assessed for cancer incidence. This revealed 1,359 cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 165 cases of Waldenström macroglobulinaemia.

People infected with hepatitis C were 20–30 per cent more likely to have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma than controls.

They were three times more likely to have Waldenström macroglobulinaemia.

Screening patients with hepatitis C infection for lymphoproliferative conditions could lead to early intervention, said the researchers.

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