Monday, June 24, 2013

Hepatitis B - Experts warn of a liver cancer time bomb

Experts warn of a liver cancer time bomb

Kate Hagan
Increased diagnosis and treatment of people with hepatitis B is vital to prevent a liver cancer time bomb, experts warn. 
A liver cancer prevention policy launched by the Cancer Council on Monday calls for increased testing of groups at risk of hepatitis B, and notes that less than half of Australians affected are aware they carry the disease. About 220,000 Australians are estimated to have chronic hepatitis B and among those most at risk are people of Aboriginal background or born overseas in countries where it is endemic, such as the Asia-Pacific region. 
Cancer Council Victoria prevention director Craig Sinclair said liver cancer was our fastest-growing cancer, with cases set to double in Australia over the next decade, to about 2500 a year, unless action was taken.
Mr Sinclair said recent focus groups from the Chinese community showed there was little knowledge of the link between hepatitis B and liver cancer, despite most liver cancers being caused by viral hepatitis.....

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Photo Credit
Illustration by Sarah L. Williamson, MA

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