New research suggests that hepatitis C is linked to an increased risk for developing head and neck cancers. It has been known for a while that Hepatitis C may be associated with an heightened risk for developing lymphoma and liver cancer. Dr. Harry Torres at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center evaluated 34,545 patients with a history of Hepatitis C and reported that 409 of these patients had head and neck cancers. They reported that patients with a history of Hepatitis C infection appeared to have at least twice an increased risk of developing head and neck cancers.
They also found that a greater number of individuals with Hepatitis C also tested positive for HPV.
So what does this mean?
Of course correlation does not imply causation. Further studies are needed. Nonetheless, this study illustrates the importance of early detection and treatment of Hepatitis C. Additionally, the research emphasizes the significance of oral cancer screenings.