Viral Hepatitis Causes Rising Liver Cancer Death Rates

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Viral Hepatitis Causes Rising Liver Cancer Death Rates

Other cancer deaths are down

On March 9, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.” The report shows that while substantial progress has been made against cancer overall, a rapidly increasing number of Americans are developing and dying from liver cancer, and the rate of deaths due to liver cancer is increasing faster than for any other type of cancer.

Most alarmingly, the report states that hepatitis B and C—preventable and treatable diseases—are the leading contributing factors to liver cancer in the United States. Hepatitis C related factors contribute to 50 percent of liver cancer cases in the U.S., and hepatitis B related factors contribute to 15 percent of liver cancer cases.

This report is further evidence that funding and leadership is needed to eliminate hepatitis B and C in the U.S. In light of this disturbing new report, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable reiterates our call for the nation’s leaders to take swift action to stop needless deaths and suffering:

Congress must approve a minimum of $62.8 million for the Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) at CDC to expand hepatitis B and C prevention, testing and linkage to care services.
The federal government must ensure access to hepatitis B vaccine and implement a strategy to end perinatal hepatitis B transmission in the U.S.
Syringe service programs must be allowed to use federal funds to prevent new hepatitis B and C infections and link individuals to support services and care.
Hepatitis B and C prevention, screening and linkage to care services must be included in programs that address the nation’s opioid/heroin/overdose epidemics.
The United States Prevention Services Task Force’s hepatitis B and C testing recommendations must be implemented throughout all health-care systems.
Everyone living with hepatitis B and C must have unrestricted access to lifesaving treatment.
From the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable

Roslyn Daniels