Many virus that cause cancers have been disovered since the 1950's
One such discovery got a Nobel prize in 2020
Many more virus ==> Cancer combinations are suspected
- Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) - Burkitt's Lymphoma
- Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) - Liver Cancer
- Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) - Liver Cancer
- Human Herpesvirus 8 (HH8) - Kaposi's Sarcoma
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - Cervical Cancer, Head and Neck Cancers, Anal, Oral, Pharyngeal, and Penile Cancers
- Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus 1 (HTLV) - Adult T-cell Leukemia
- Merkel Cell Polyomavirus - Skin Cancer (Merkel Cell Carcinoma)
How do viruses cause cancer?
Viruses are very small organisms. They are made up of genes – DNA or RNA – surrounded by a protein coating. There are several oncoviruses, or viruses that causes cancer:
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a herpes virus that’s spread through saliva. EBV infection increases the risk of Burkitt lymphoma, some types of Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and stomach cancer. There is currently no vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is spread through infected blood, semen and other body fluids. Hepatitis B is a leading cause of liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all children and adults. If you are not sure if you’ve been vaccinated, talk to your doctor.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread through infected blood. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer, and can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There is no vaccine against hepatitis C, but it is highly treatable.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is spread through infected semen, vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk. While it does not cause cancer directly, researchers believe it increases the risk of cancer by damaging the immune system, which reduces the body’s defenses against other oncoviruses. It can enable other oncoviruses to cause cancer. HIV-associated cancers include Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cervical cancer, and cancers of the anus, liver, mouth and throat and lung. There is no vaccine against HIV.
Human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) is related to Kaposi sarcoma in people who have a weakened immune system. That includes patients with HIV.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) has at least 12 strains that can cause cancer in men and women, including anal, cervical, penile, throat, vaginal and vulvar cancer. Boys and girls age 11-12 should get the HPV vaccine. It’s available for patient from age 9-26.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type, also called human T-lymphotrophic virus (HTLV-1) is linked to adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. It is spread through infected semen, vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk. The infection is rarely found in the United States.
The effects of these viruses on cancer development is highly complicated. Experts don’t fully understand how most known oncoviruses cause cancer. What is known is that viruses highjack cells and insert their own DNA or RNA into the host cell. This can cause the host cells to become cancerous.
- "The vast majority of human and animal viruses do not cause cancer, probably because of longstanding co-evolution between the virus and its host."
- "The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer estimated that in 2002, infection caused 17.8% of human cancers, with 11.9% caused by one of seven viruses. A 2020 study of 2,658 samples from 38 different types of cancer found that 16% were associated with a virus."
- Long-Haul COVID likely caused by Epstein-Barr virus (Vitamin D might help) - June 2021
- Vitamin D can inhibit enveloped virus (e.g. Corona, Herpes, Zoster, Epstein, Hepatitis, Ebola) – March 2011
- Hepatitis B virus and Vitamin D - many studies
- Vitamin D prevents Hepatitis-C and helps treat it (many studies)
- Adenovirus-36 is strongly associated with Obesity (possibly prevented and treated by Vitamin D) not cancer
Flashback Friday: The Role of Burger Viruses in Cancer Dr. Greger
- "What made this Nobel laureate suspect them? Well, for one thing, some people got cancer right where they were vaccinated for smallpox—a whole bunch of different cancers. The vaccine was harvested from “the…skin of calves.” And so, maybe there’s some cancer-causing cow virus?"
- "..countries that don’t eat a lot of beef appear to have relatively low rates of colorectal cancer. And, countries that all of a sudden started eating lots of meat had their rates shoot up"
- Human polyomaviruses and cancer: an overview - Sept 2018 FREE PDF