The US Department of Health and Social Services has added seven more items to the list of carcinogens, including several viruses.
The new list also contains five viruses: human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1); human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1); Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); herpesvirus associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KSHV); Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV).
According to US health authorities, these viruses have been associated with more than 20 cancers, including skin cancer, eye cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, and several types of lymphoma.
Dr. Elif Hakko, an infectious disease specialist at Anadolu Medical Center, reports that microorganisms can cause cancer, such as Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), human papillomavirus (HPV), liver viruses and a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori.
"The EBV virus is known among children in adolescence as" kissing disease ". It is characterized by fever, without complications and does not require treatment. 80-90% of people at some point in their lives were affected by this virus. In addition, according to scientific research, the presence of the EBV virus is the cause for the formation of certain types of lymphoma and causes nasopharyngeal cancer ”.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is also a common occurrence. Statistics show that every second sexually active woman, at least once in her life, has been affected by HPV. The disease is asymptomatic, but in some cases, warts form in the genital area, on the skin and mucous membranes. It is important to know that in HPV infection, especially type 16 and type 18 – known as cancer-causing, the inflammatory process occurs without any symptoms and can occur after years in the form of cervical cancer. The virus is also common in cancer of the penis and anus. And certain types of HPV lead to larynx cancer.
Hepatitis viruses, in particular hepatitis B and hepatitis C, cause jaundice which causes inflammation of the liver. In cases where hepatitis occurs suddenly, occurs with acute infection and causes jaundice, the probability of successful treatment is higher.
Infections that are asymptomatic, become chronic and usually remain dormant for years. In some patients, it is possible to form cirrhosis of the liver, while in others – the cancer develops spontaneously.
Helicobacter pylori can cause gastric and duodenal ulcers. With proper treatment, the disease may go away, but in some patients it becomes chronic. Stomach cancer is more common in people living with Helicobacter infection for years. Therefore, it is of great importance for patients affected by Helicobacter to undergo treatment.
Diseases caused by viruses or bacteria, in certain individuals manifest themselves in a different way. Depending on the circumstances, these viruses and bacteria can cause simple infections in some patients, while others can cause cancer. Therefore, Dr. Elif Hakko pays particular attention to the need to create good habits for a healthy lifestyle, but also to the need for immunizations. “There are vaccines against hepatitis B and HPV that are quite effective. Immunizations in infants are important – they begin in the first month and are performed in 3 stages, but can be applied to each person who is not immunized, regardless of age.
The HPV vaccine is recommended to be given to girls before the onset of their sex life (usually at 12-14 years). Also, for hepatitis B, this immunization can be done in all women under 50 years. There is no vaccine against Helicobacter, but the infection can be treated with antibiotics.
The combination of a healthy diet, regular sleep, exercise, lack of stress and bad habits, such as smoking and alcohol, improves immunity and prevents the effects of viruses that cause cancer, summarizes the specialist.
The other two carcinogens are trichlorethylene (ECT), "an industrial solvent used to create hydrofluorocarbon chemicals," and the cobalt metal elements and cobalt compounds that release cobalt ions into the body.