The Connection Between Infectious Diseases and Cancer

Connection Between

and Health

The link between infectious diseases and cancer has been long established and yet only recently has there been a comprehensive understanding of the relationship. Infectious diseases, such as viral and bacterial infections, can lead to the development of cancer in a variety of ways. Research has shown that individuals who are infected with a number of pathogens are more likely to contract and/or develop cancerous growths.

How Infectious Diseases Can Lead to Cancer

Infectious agents, such as bacteria and viruses, can cause mutations in our cells. These mutations might weaken and eventually lead to cancerous growths if the immune system is not able to refute the infection. Additionally, the effects of viruses and bacteria may cause cells to divide and proliferate uncontrollably. Such uncontrolled cell growth can lead to the formation of tumors and subsequently, cancer.

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Which Viruses and Bacteria Can Lead to Cancer?

Viruses and bacteria associated with cancer are referred to as oncogenic agents. Viruses, such as HPV, HBV and HIV, are known to be oncogenic agents, and can lead to the development of cancers associated with the respiratory, reproductive, and gastrointestinal systems. Bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori, cause chronic inflammation, which is known to be a major risk factor for cancer.

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Reducing the Risk of Developing Cancer

The best way to reduce the risk of developing cancer due to an infectious agent is to get vaccinated and practice good hygiene. Vaccinating against HPV, HBV and other diseases can greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer associated with a viral infection. Practicing good hygiene such as washing your hands regularly and avoiding contact with contaminated surfaces can help reduce your risk of contracting a bacterial infection.

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In conclusion, infectious diseases are associated with cancer and have been linked to a variety of different types of cancer. It is important to get vaccinated and practice good hygiene in order to reduce your risk of developing cancer due to a viral or bacterial infection.

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