Having Hepatitis C May Increase Your Risk of Head and Neck Cancers

Posted on April 15, 2016 by Disability Help Group

A new study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that having Hepatitis C, or Hep C, may also make you more susceptible to developing certain cancers of the neck and head.

Researchers at the Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center looked at cancer rates in patients with Hep C. After looking at the data from 34,545 patients, they found that 409 patients had developed head and neck cancers.

The 409 cancer patients included 164 with oropharyngeal cancers, which are cancers of the middle section of the throat such as tonsils, soft palate, and the back of the tongue. The other 245 patients had non-oropharyngeal cancers that are mainly centered in the mouth, hard palate, and larynx.

Of these patients, 20 percent of those with non-oropharyngeal cancer also tested positive for Hepatitis C antibodies, while 14 percent of those with oropharyngeal cancer had the antibodies present. 

When assessing the risk for head and neck cancers, researchers found that patients with Hepatitis C infection had 2.4 times the risk of developing oral cancers, 2.04 times greater risk for oropharynx cancers, and 4.96 times greater risk for cancers of the larynx.

If You Suffer from Hepatitis C, You May Qualify for Disability Benefits

Many disabling conditions can raise the risk of other health problems, increasing the level of disability and decreasing your ability to work. Hepatitis C may qualify you for Social Security disability benefits if the symptoms are severe enough to impair you from working and earning a substantial income.

If Hepatitis C has made it impossible for you or a loved one to work, call the Disability Help Group. Contact us at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates.