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Hepatitis B Still Poses Liver Cancer Risk after Clearing

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Hepatitis B is a liver disease that lasts a relatively short time for most patients. Even so, long-term or chronic infections are possible, and can cause liver damage and liver cancer. Researchers are now determining that even after the virus has cleared the body, patients still have a higher liver cancer risk.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium recently published a study in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics regarding the risk of liver cancer in Hepatitis B survivors.

They looked at infection rates in the U.S. population and found that babies who contract the infection from Hepatitis B-positive mothers are most likely to develop chronic infections.

The study included 1,346 Alaska-Native patients who had received chronic HBV infection diagnoses. Of those patients selected, 238 had HBV infections that resolved during the follow-up period and another 435 continued with chronic infections. Comparing the two groups, there was no improvement in the rate of developing liver cancer for those who had cleared the virus.

Researchers hypothesize that the HBV DNA integrates into the liver cell’s genome, perpetuating the liver cancer risk even after the actual virus is gone. Many of the patients in the study had noticeable levels of HBV DNA in their systems, even when the virus’s presence in their bloodstream was negative.

Many Liver Diseases Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

An estimated 700,000 to 1.4 million people live with chronic infection of Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis and other liver diseases can progress into cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer, increasing the level of disability. Many patients with chronic Hepatitis can no longer work and earn a substantial income.

If you believe you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, give Disability Help Group a call.

Contact us at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates.