Infections caused 13% of all cancer cases in 2018, study says

In 2018, about 2.2 million cancer cases, or 13 percent, attributable to infections were diagnosed worldwide, according to a study published in The Lancet.

Researchers used data from the Globocan 2018 database that tracked cancer incidence and mortality rates. The database recorded about 18.1 million new cancer cases in 2018. Researchers estimated the number of cancer cases associated with 10 infectious pathogens.

They found that about 2.2 million cancer cases caused by were infectious pathogens diagnosed in 2018, corresponding to an age-standardized incidence rate of 25 cases per 100,000 person-years attributable to infections.

The primary pathogens causing the cancer cases were:

• Helicobacter pylori (810,000 cases)
• Human papillomavirus (690,000 cases)
• Hepatitis B virus (360,000 cases)
• Hepatitis C virus (160,000 cases)

Researchers found that China accounted for a third of worldwide cancer cases attributable to infection.

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