A large proportion of cancers found to be caused by preventable infections

The majority of cervical cancer is actually caused by a virus known as the human papilloma virus or HPV. A statistic has recently been made public after research is showing that around 20 percent of all cancers are caused by infections that are entirely preventable.

It is estimated that infection causes around 2 million cases of cancer in a single year, with 80 percent of those cancers occurring in the developing world. In 2008 nearly 8,000,000 people died from cancer worldwide, with around 1.5 million of these having got the disease after contracting an infection. This research has been published in the Lancet Oncology journal.

The Cancer research facility based in France has commented, “There are cancers that are caused by bacteria, viruses and even parasites. They account for some of the most preventable causes of cancer around the globe. There are public health practices such as safe injections, vaccinations and treatments which can seriously affect the prevalence of these types of cancer.”

The research showed that over 15 percent of all cancers were being caused by infection related conditions in 2008. The study also showed how people in the developing world were much more likely to get the disease through this method, about 300 percent more likely.

A doctor working on the study, Dr de Martel commented, “Infection related cancer is something that can be entirely preventable. This is especially true with HPV. With appropriate treatment, this type of disease can be entirely prevented and this is something that should be a serious focus for public health.”

Programmes are being launched around the world which will vaccinate people against this type of virus to prevent them getting the cancer associated with it. The cancer only affects women and it is estimated that half the cervical is caused by the virus