(NaturalNews) New estimates suggest that about 1 in 6 cancers is caused by preventable or treatable infections, according to results of a 2008 study published on May 9 in the British medical journal the Lancet Oncology.
The study examined incidence rates for 27 types of cancer in 184 countries and found four infections to be the culprits. The four infections -- human papillomaviruses (HPV), Helicobacter pylori, and hepatitis B and C - resulted in 1.9 million cases of cancer, amounting to about 17% (or 1 in 6) of the cancers examined.
The study suggests that nearly a third of infection-related cancers occur in people under the age of fifty and the majority of cases occur in developing lands like East Asia.
"Infections with certain viruses, bacteria and parasites are some of the biggest and preventable causes of cancer worldwide," said Catherine de Martel and Martyn Plummer, who led the study.
Although the incidence of infection-related cancers is significantly lower in developed nations like the U.K., even the small percentage of the cancer cases in the study amounted to hundreds of thousands of preventable cancers annually in developed lands alone.
The study reports that cervix uteri cancer accounted for about half of the infection-related cancers that occurred in women, and liver and gastric cancers accounted for more than 80% of the cases in men.
Cervical cancers in women have been linked with HPV, and gastric and liver cancers have been linked to hepatitis B in men.
The study considered infectious agents classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and carried out the research in eight geographic regions.
About the author: Louis Lazaris is a blogger, published author, and web developer. He has a passion for natural health, and owns and operates a natural health directory called Natural-Life.ca that lists businesses in the natural health field in select North American cities.
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