Infections cause one in six cancer cases
May 8th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Infections cause one in six cancer cases

One in six cancer cases worldwide are caused by infections, many of which are preventable or treatable, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

A total of 2 million new cancer cases in 2008 were linked to infections, the study said. Of those, only 7.4% were reported in more developed countries, and 22.9% in less developed countries.

The research blames many of these cancer cases on Human papillomavirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

HPV is preventable through vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for girls and boys age 9 through 26.  Merck's Gardasil is available for both sexes; GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix is currently only approved for girls.  While this common sexually transmitted disease doesn't cause cancer in most people, it can lead to cervical and some head and neck cancers.

"The more people you vaccinate, male and female, the more likely you are to get a population that doesn’t have the disease," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society and conditions expert for CNN Health, who was not involved in the study.

Hepatitis B is preventable by vaccine; hepatitis C is not, but treatments are available.  Both forms used to be problematic in the United States mainly among IV drug users; today, sexual transmission is a bigger problem, Brawley said.  These diseases lead to inflammation, scarring and regeneration of the liver, which can all cause cancer.

Helicobacter pylori can be treated with an antibiotic cocktail.  Treating the bacterial infection has not been proven to prevent gastric cancer, but that is the hope among clinicians, Brawley said.

HIV is another disease that leads to forms of cancer, such as lymphoma and leukemia.  That's because suppression of the immune system increases cancer risk - and that includes transplant patients who have to take immunosuppressant drugs so their bodies don't reject the donated organs.

There were big differences in the study between types of cancers that infected women and men.  About half of infection-linked cancers seen in women were blamed on cervix uteri cancers.  Among men in the study, more than 80% of cancers tied to infection were liver and gastric cancer.

But the total number of infection-related cancer cases was similar in men and women, a pattern that was consistent across age groups, except among people younger than 40. Women under 40 had more infection-linked cancers than men, mostly because of cervical cancer, the study said.

In terms of deaths, the study authors estimated that 1.5 million of the 7.5 million cancer deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008 - or about one in five - were related to infectious diseases.

How do researchers know if a cancer is caused by an infectious disease? Viruses such as HPV and Hepatitis B and C actually invade a person's DNA and leave their signature in the genetic sequence.  Helicobacter pylori does not, but the bacterium can be found in gastric tumors.

There are some limitations to the estimates in the study, however.  Since data by region and country wasn't always available, researchers can only estimate the number of infection-linked cancers in those areas. The authors could have overestimated infections in certain regions because of their reliance on large studies and those done in high-risk countries. It's also true that multiple infections can cause a single case of cancer, says Dr. Goodarz Danaei of the Harvard School of Public Health in an accompanying commentary.

Still, this study offers the "most up-to-date worldwide estimate of the role of infectious agents in causing cancer," Danaei writes.

soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Let me guess, this study was funded by the manufacturers of cervical cancer vaccine?

    May 8, 2012 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mike

      The summary of the article lists the funding as coming from Fondation Innovations en Infectiologie (FINOVI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), both foundations attempting to reduce the burden of worldwide health problems thru creative use of relatively cheap technologies and innovations.

      May 8, 2012 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
    • AGuest9

      Wasn't it the great patriot, Ben Franklin, that said "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"?

      May 8, 2012 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Shelhl

      Let me guess, you don't understand medical research.

      May 8, 2012 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • HPV

      I would get HPV vaccine in a heartbeat. but i wouldn't want it shoved down my throat.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:13 | Report abuse |
    • Lynne

      Bob, the vaccine manufacturers would like you to think that their vaccine actually works. My daughter had the HPV vaccine when she was 12 years old and still got HPV from her first sexual partner when she was 21. The vaccine doesn't work in my opinion. Her doctor was shocked to hear that she had the vaccine and still got HPV.

      May 9, 2012 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
    • ladyfon

      Lynn how could that be? The first vaccine was not created until 2006, which was only 6 years ago. If she got the vaccine when she was 12 that would make her 18 or did you put your 12 year old through the clinical trials?

      May 9, 2012 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
    • Heh

      she sure made you look stupid, lynne

      May 9, 2012 at 09:50 | Report abuse |
    • Heath

      Also the vaccine only protects against a few strands of HPV which are known to cause cancer. A vaccine recipient is still able to contract other forms of HPV, though these are less likely to result in cervical cancer. While not a perfect cure, it's still a great start in eradicating one of the leading causes of cancer death in females.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:04 | Report abuse |
    • science

      Just two quantify Heath's response, the two cancer-causing strains of HPV that this protects against cause about 70% of all HPV-related cancers. I'll take a 70% reduction in frequencies of these cancers considering the alternative is no reduction. My generation is screwed, but I'd be an idiot if I did not act to protect my kids and subsequent generations.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:44 | Report abuse |
    • vaccinate

      What 21 year old daughter reports back to her mother that she (1) contracted an STD from her (2) first sexual partner at the "age of 21"? Lynne, stop spreading lies. Gardasil is not 100% perfect but it's a heck of a lot better than doing nothing/planting your head in the sand. 70% efficacy is a lot better than 0%, don't you think?

      May 9, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • A scientist

      Lynne: It is amazing how people like you are comfortable blatantly lying in their comments. First, as others have pointed out, your timeline simply doesn't work - the HPV vaccine has not been around long enough.

      Second, no doctor would be surprised that someone got HPV despite vaccination. As others have mentioned, the vaccine prevents the HPV strains that are most linked to cancer, but not all HPV strains. Furthermore, no vaccine is 100% effective. Your comment is like saying, "My kid died in a car crash despite wearing his seat belt. The doctor was shocked that a kid could die despite wearing a seat belt. This proves that seat belts don't work." Like seat belts, vaccines are not 100% effective, but they are better than nothing.

      Finally, 21 year olds are not routinely screen for HPV, unless they have an abnormal PAP smear. According to the CDC, the HPV test "may be used to screen for cervical cancer, with the Pap test, in women aged 30 years and older. It also may be used to provide more information when a Pap test has unclear results."

      May 9, 2012 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
    • GetReal

      You couldn't pay me to get that vaccine.

      May 10, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
  2. a mom

    Hmmm, it seems that the majority of these cancers can be prevented rather inexpensively without medical intervention or a vaccine. It's a two part process: only have sex after you're married and only have sex with the person you are married to. It's simple and it's free with no potential medical side effects. As for not injecting illegal drugs and regularly binging on alcohol... if that were to stop the live cancer rates would drop precipitously. So much of this is lifestyle induced and we are spending lots of money to maintain the lifestyle.

    May 8, 2012 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lokari

      I hear you're a swinger.

      May 8, 2012 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • tolajn

      And we also pay billions of dollars annually for poor health in the US for those who can not control their food intake. Nearly half of US citizens are projected to be obese by 2030. If you have ever visited countries outside of the US you will be shocked at how few are obese. The food addiction in our country is not as simple as eating healthy, nor is it as easy to just say cancer rates will plummet if everyone has sex within the confines of marriage. It would be nice if every solution were so simple.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:15 | Report abuse |
    • ripcity

      Lifestyle – like been born into abject poverty in china to a mother with HBV? Also puts you at risk for H. pylori. I love the holier than though crowd that would sign up for a cancer vaccine at the drop of a hat if the virus was transmitted by touch or respiratory dropplets ... but if it is passed sexually, well those people deserve to get cancer if they have sex with someone with the virus (who usually has no idea for years that they are infected). Americans really, really, really need to grow up when it comes to sex and human sexual behavior. We have some amazingly maladaptive puritanical views that we love to make our public persona and policy, but in reality the majority of humans, no matter what country or culture, behave quite similarly with at least 1 lifetime sexual partner ... perfect for viruses. Telling people to behave in unnatural ways is like telling them they must live isolated to their own bedroom for 7 days either side of a viral respiratory infection so they don't spread it ..... it just isn't realistic in any possible way.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • lisequinn

      Those of you who don't want their daughter to have the vaccine because "their not going to have sex until marriage". Do you really think you have that much control over your child, at 12, at 15, at 17 ???
      What if you're wrong and your daughter ends up with cervical cancer – maybe loses her ability to have children, or maybe dies.
      Are you so sure, sure enough to put your daughter's future, her life on the line? Would you bet her future, her life on it?
      Because if you refuse her the vaccination, that is exactly what you are doing. Gambling with your daughter's life. Who knows, maybe the "waiting until your married" on her part works, but he didn't and he carries HPV. Your daughter would still catch it.
      Why gamble with your child's life?

      And those of you who think the vaccine is more dangerous than HPV.
      You are wrong. More people have died from the cancers that HPV causes, then any who have died from the vaccines.
      As of 2011, there have been 71 deaths of those who had taken the vaccine out of approximately 40 million doses. That is about 0.000173 %. On average every year about 12,000 women are diagnosed, 4500 die. Over a five year period 22, 000 women will have died who didn't have to.
      As they can, vaccines for new strains will be developed.
      It is not a pointless or dangerous thing to get your daughter vaccinated.
      It is a careless risky thing to do to not get her vaccinated.
      These statistics come from the Center for Disease Control
      How do your know your daughter won't be one of the dead?

      May 9, 2012 at 00:49 | Report abuse |
    • thinquer

      The children of this mother will be healthy and happy if they listen to her. God bless you , Mom!

      May 9, 2012 at 06:45 | Report abuse |

      Thats a great way to look at it, all those silly teenagers fooling around and having sex before marriage, they get what they deserve. If your a mom then I am sure that your kids will only have sex after they are married,so don't worry they will be safe. It always nice to see in America that Leave It to Beaver was never taken off the air.

      May 9, 2012 at 07:16 | Report abuse |
    • Ed Zachary

      There are lots of studies that show that teenagers brought up with only abstinence training with regard to premarital sex have premarital sex at about the same rates as their peers who are not given the abstinence story. Lectures about the evils of premarital sex and signing pledges and such won't reliably protect your children from HPV. Take a belt and suspenders approach, tell them not to have premarital sex, but also vaccinate, because who knows what their eventual spouse might have done at 17.

      May 9, 2012 at 07:45 | Report abuse |
    • Nah!

      But how boring is that?!

      May 9, 2012 at 08:31 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy, DC

      I'd rather get cancer than live like that. No sex until marriage? I don't think so.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • Question

      I have a question about this line of thinking. I contracted HPV from my wife. She contracted HPV from when she had been previously raped. How does planning on saving yourself for marriage work in here?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
    • AGuest9

      No sex until marriage? Denial.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
    • vaccinate

      A mom: Men cheat. Even when women wait until marriage and are faithful, their partners often are not. Worse? Cheating men (1) don't like using condoms and (2) NEVER get tested before they get back with their wives. Get your head out of the sand and take a look around.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
    • A scientist

      There are a couple problems with your post. First, HPV can be passed mother to child, so my daughter and her boyfriend could remain completely abstinent until marriage, and she could still get it from him if he got it from his mom.

      Second, about 10% of US women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Is it their fault if they get HPV?

      Third, while your children can control their actions, you are putting a lot of faith in their partners. What if you child marries someone who claims that they have been abstinent, but wasn't?

      Finally, while I will encourage my children to remain abstinent, I don't want my children to get punished with death-by-cancer if they make a bad choice at 16.

      I think a simple analogy is seat belts. Most car accidents can be avoided by cautious driving, so why wear seat belts? The reason is two-fold - there are some accidents that happen due to no fault of the driver, and even if an accident is my child's fault, I still want them to be protected.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
  3. Bozobub

    Sorry, but no, a mom. You can acquire all of those maladies – except HIV – via casual contact, not just transmission of bodily fluids/sex. Your ignorance of how these pathogens work is also a lifestyle choice, you know.

    May 8, 2012 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spock500

      Categorically FALSE. You speak of ignorance, but look who is talking. HBV and HCV are overwhelmingly transmitted through blood-borne routes. HBV and HCV are NOT acquired via "casual routes". I think you need to educate yourself before you make ignorant statements like that. With all due respect, of course.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:32 | Report abuse |
    • ripcity

      The only one you can get "casually" is H. pylori. Most H. pylori new infections happen in toddlers. Very few younger Americans under 50 have it these days (but it still exists in poorer, more rural families). It is passed fecal-oral ... because babies and toddlers put everything in their mouth.

      The most common method of HBV transmission is blood – blood contact. 350 million people worldwide are infected. The US is relatively spared and the HBV vaccine after introduced in the early 1990s has made rates in the US fall dramatically. In parts of Asia and Africa 20% of the population has it and 90% of babies born to those mothers get it at birth. That isn't lifestyle, that is just bad luck being born in a poor country where so many people have the disease.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:52 | Report abuse |
    • Sss

      Blood borne transmission can be non sexual, non dirty needle related. Sharing toothbrush and razors has the potential passing an infection like hep c.

      May 9, 2012 at 05:29 | Report abuse |
    • thinquer

      You need to read today's report on the BBC and check out the CDC website before you speak. (write)

      May 9, 2012 at 06:46 | Report abuse |
  4. Vince

    amom. Marriage is more expensive than any of those diseases. Ask any divorced man paying alimony, or a married man with a stay-at-home wife! You prefer the marriage solution because it pays for your life style. Some of us would rather have the disease!

    May 8, 2012 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • riley

      Or my sister paying spousal support to her ex husband and receiving no child support for kids she has full time.

      May 8, 2012 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Infection is not the cause its a symptom of malfunction cells and this leads to cancer. Maintain a healthy diet and reduce stress and wear protection when getting it on! You would see cancer rates drop like a rock.

    May 8, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      You're absolutely right, John. When people get HIV via tainted blood transfusions, it's not the virus that gave them AIDS. It was just their cells malfunctioning. I'm sure a healthy diet would've prevented the deaths of all those hemophiliacs in the 80's... idiot.

      May 8, 2012 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
    • JeramieH

      What exactly produces the virion then, John? It's a physical, measurable object.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
  6. mjg

    In other words they do not the proper research to back their claim but hopefully they have initiated enough fear to convince us to get vaccinated.

    May 8, 2012 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marie

      That's the message I see, too.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
  7. allalone

    Most people don't know they have Hep C until it is too late. There are no symptoms to alert you to the disease. You can live wtih it for years and then one day your liver is failing and you get cancer. I know, I just buried my sweetheart. He was in his mid-fifties.

    May 8, 2012 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Chuck D

    This is a garbage study designed to convince people to take cancer causing vaccines. They know a gullible America will take the bait.

    May 8, 2012 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      Yup, we should all listen to good ole' Chucky. He doesn't have one of those fancy Ph.D.s, he listens to his gut. Who needs research to back up a wild accusation when you've got a 10th grade education and the Fox News channel?

      May 8, 2012 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • AGuest9

      Don't you have a FEMA Death Camp to go check out? BTW, adjust your tin-foil hat.

      May 8, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
    • beadlesaz

      Chuck D – you are a moron.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
  9. rb

    Bob, A Mom, John, MDJ and Chucky D, sorry folks but after spending the winter fighting throat cancer I can tell you that you are wrong! I was shocked when told I had cancer caused by HPV as I have been married for almost 30 years, don't do drugs nor smoke or drink. I asked the specialist how this can happen and he explained there are many ways to catch HPV, that many people these days are getting cancer via HPV no matter what their life style. He also said if I had an HPV vaccine when I was younger I would not have gotten the cancer in the first place. I can tell you after going to through radiation to the cure the cancer I surely wish I had gotten the vaccination!!

    May 8, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • frank4172

      The HPV vaccine only protects you against 4 types of HPV...There are almost 100 different genotypes of HPV that can affect humans. HPV can be found everywhere...Yes even on toilet seats. Also, the HPV vaccine has not been available for that long of a time period... More than likely you contracted the HPV virus a long time ago. HPV doesn't just go straight to cancer. It takes many years for cancer to develop from an HPV infection.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:08 | Report abuse |
    • science

      Yes, it protects against "only" 4 strains. Two of those strains cause about 70% of the related cancers and the other two cause about 90% of genital warts cases.

      I'll take a 70% reduction in risk of related cancers and a 90% reduction in risk of contracting other unpleasant lifelong infections (and the possibility of spreading the virus and putting someone I love through a prolonged, agonizing, and early death) over zero protection any day.

      May 9, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse |
    • JoBu

      Right there with you rb. Diagnoised in August 2011 with base of the tongue cancer. Finshed up treatments in February of this year. Worst hell you can imagine. HPV positive. Hard to look into the eyes of my 4 year old and 6 year old and imagine not being here for them. Both of them will be getting the vaccine. I can't think of a reason not to give it to them. As a parent and a survivor, i have a moral obligation to protect my children however i can. The vaccine is one method, but a very good start in my opinion.

      May 9, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      rb and JoBu: I'm also an HPV-16 mediated Head & Neck Cancer survivor (2006). Radiation was awful, and nearly killed me. BUT I'm now past that 5 yr survival date, and elated to be alive. Maybe I got the virus with my first 'wet' kiss. Or a straw I shared with a girlfriend at age 12 when we went to the amusement park the first time. We'll never know. However, I am smart enough to promote immunization, as I would NEVER want anyone to have to go through what I did. Immunize your sons & daughters. Neices and nephews. Don't let them die from inaction. Please.

      May 10, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
  10. AVA

    They use retro virus DNA to make these vaccines It surely couldn't be that... Could it?

    May 8, 2012 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mkl

      1) No they don't.
      2) No it couldn't.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    OK, is this number 42 or 43 immunization. Line up your daughters everyone for another dangerous shot. This is so scary I can't even put it into words.

    May 8, 2012 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ripcity

      But a preventable cancer isn't scary.

      I get it.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:25 | Report abuse |
    • science

      Dangerous, you say?

      Cancers are pretty dangerous. The vaccine prevents ~70% of HPV-linked cancers.

      Genital warts last a lifetime and are less than pleasant. The vaccine prevents about 90% of these infections.

      Realizing you killed someone you love such as a spouse (marital relations) child (transmission during birth) because you had no idea you were a carrier would be a rather stark realization to make during the grieving process or while you watched them waste away.

      How dangerous is the vaccine? As of Sept 2011, 40 million doses of Gardasil had been administered. There were 71 reported deaths, 34 of which had been confirmed. Assuming all of those are eventually confirmed, the risk could be as high as 0.0001775%... However, while these confirmed deaths are for people who received the vaccine, none of them were attributed to it. IE, the vaccine was not the cause of death in any of the 71 reported deaths of individuals who had received it. Essentially, the risk is 0%. (source: CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/gardasil.html).

      Don't sentence your children to a painful, early, agonizing death. Please, get them (sons and daughters) vaccinated. Don't sentence your children's future spouses and their offspring to a painful, agonizing, early death. Please, get your children vaccinated.

      May 9, 2012 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      Science: Very well said. Mary: I know this will offend, but you really need to educate yourself better. Be it in probability, human physiology or behavior, or just basic science. If you fear immunizations, try NO HEALTHCARE for a few years. Better yet, live like our ancestors in the 1700s! Why do you think life-expectancy rates are so high in developed countries?

      May 10, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
  12. dan

    I know what they say about arguing on the internet, but seriously, all of you anti-vaccine people will eventually cause people to die by persuading scientifically illiterate people like yourselves to not have their children vaccinated.

    EVEN IF vaccines caused autism, cancer, or whatever you believe they cause (which they don't), and assuming every single adverse event from a vaccine was directly caused by the vaccine (which they aren't), you are more likely to die from the disease the vaccine prevents than from the vaccine by several hundred times. Thus, even if vaccines are harmful, it is still incredibly beneficial statistically to you and your children to be vaccinated.

    May 8, 2012 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sue

      on what planet would I be more likely to die from HPV than from the very very adverse-reaction riddled vaccine?!

      I have and my family has had other proven effective vaccines that went through years of rigorous testing, and are used to prevent serious devastating diseases, but come now HPV is sooo common and completely resolves itself over 90% of the time - NO ONE dies from HPV

      Cancers linked to HPV(that is LINKED TO – there has not been definitive evidence to prove CAUSATION) are suspected to be due to long-term unresolved infection - most likely due to some other immune-system issues preventing your body from resolving HPV. So HPV all by itself does NOT instantly kill anyone, it just helps make your body more hospitable for other problems. Well, so does a cold - the flu - obesity - lack of sleep - stress.

      So stop acting like a known bad vaccine like that for HPV that has drastic and horrid side-effects in a startling percentage of girls is somehow preventing death - there is no way to prove that, to calculate that or to even assume that. The vaccine only works against a tiny fraction of the strains of HPV, which is quite convenient ... so when girls who manage to survive the vaccination without problems may still get HPV 'linked' cancers - and the docs can just use the excuse 'well, the vaccine is only effective against x,y,z strains - your HPV was strain r so you are SOL'

      May 9, 2012 at 00:16 | Report abuse |
    • ripcity

      Planet Earth.

      Get off the high horse of "does not cause". The link to cervical cancer goes something like this ... 50% of cervical cancers are associated with HPV-16 infections. About the same percentage of anal and penile cancers (as well as some other rare cancers) are associated. A large number of the remaining cervical, penile and anal cancers have other strains. Absolutely, not all are high risk. Nobody is questioning that. I just find it incredibly interesting that so many people have such zealotry about this because it is related to human sexual function. If HPV was transmitted in cough / sneeze and caused lung and throat cancer that way, everybody would be lining up for the vaccine.

      Instead, we actually like the fact that sex for our daughters has a potentially deadly consequence. It won't change their behaviors any more than it did for us when we hormones were raging as teenagers and young adults (long before the HPV vaccine).

      May 9, 2012 at 00:35 | Report abuse |
    • science

      How dangerous is the vaccine? As of Sept 2011, 40 million doses of Gardasil had been administered. There were 71 reported deaths, 34 of which had been confirmed. Assuming all of those are eventually confirmed, the risk could be as high as 0.0001775%... However, while these confirmed deaths are for people who received the vaccine, none of them were attributed to it. IE, the vaccine was not the cause of death in any of the 71 reported deaths of individuals who had received it. Essentially, the risk is 0%. (source: CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/gardasil.html).

      May 9, 2012 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
  13. JDM

    The article does not mention the HTLV virus which is a major cause of T cell leukemia/lymphoma.

    May 9, 2012 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vaccinate

      JDM, there is no vaccine for HTLV-1, HTLV-2 or HIV. In India and South American countries, HTLV variants are much more common and devastating than HIV and almost nobody gets tested. HTLV kills far faster than HIV and it is transmitted very easily. People are more likely to die from the acute HTLV-associated lymphopenia than from a more lengthy neoplastic transformation. HTLV will become a major problem in the USA as infected people travel here and shag it up with native populations in unprotected fashion. Even those who actually get tested regularly for STDs won't know they are infected because nobody tests for HTLVs just like men NEVER get tested for HPV and so keep passing it on.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
  14. Oh how lovely

    The vaccine does kill young people. I don't want my kid to be that statistic. Also I don't want her to have a false sense of security that she's protected. Just because you are vaccinate does NOT mean you won't get whichever disease you're trying to prevent. Not being afraid to educate your child is the best prevention in my opinion. My family and my husbands both have a predisposition to adverse side effects to them. The same day my 4year old niece was vac. she had seizures and turned blue twice. My husbands niece has autism related to vac. Dr's say they aren't related but i'm not buying what they're selling. Population control in a needle while making billions . I personally also had hpv when I was younger which caused cancer. And now I have no sign of it at all. Keeping your immune system up is the best prevention ever. Good diet lots of exercise and a good outlook on life. Not to mention regular Dr. visits.

    May 9, 2012 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • VladT

      May I ask which "statistic" you don't want your child to become a part of? I must've been asleep that day when the news started listing all the vaccinated deaths.

      May 9, 2012 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
    • science

      "The vaccine does kill young people." Oh really? I beg to differ.

      According to the CDC (the folks who keep the records for this stuff), ZERO deaths have been attributed to gardasil in the 71 cases of unfortunate people who happened to both receive the vaccine and then at some later point in time die. Even if the vaccine was the cause of death in those 71 cases, that is out of 40 million who have received it. The odds of your child contracting one of these cancers and/or warts in their lifetime are much, much greater. Other serious adverse events such as a GBS diagnosis occur in a frequency that matches the non-vaccinated population. In other words, the vaccine is not the cause.


      May 9, 2012 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
    • vaccinate

      How Lovely: I bet you tell your daughter not to wear a seat belt while driving too because (1) she doesn't plan on being in a car wreck and (2) if she knows she isn't protected from a crash, she'll drive EXTRA safely. Good thing all those drunks and other impaired people are wearing their belts so they will walk away whilst your daughter becomes an organ donor. That's right. We are all affected by other peoples' safety habits too. Protect your children (male and female) with all available means. Be a good parent.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
  15. Reason

    @oh how lovely: the vaccine-autism link has long been debunked. It was originally from a single investigator that has since been discredited many times over. It's amazing that this nonsense continues to be propagated by ignorant, fearful people. I realize that science is real hard for folks like you, but please educate yourself (this does not include the misinformation on Fox "News") if you are going to put the health of your children at risk by not vaccinating them.

    May 9, 2012 at 02:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. dancing frog

    I find it very interesting, that when I was in school, & yes it was waaay back in the day ... '48-'60, there were none of these diseases out there, & we did NOT need 50 innoculations to survive life. Babies, under 6 mo. of age, have not yet lived long enu'f to develope any sort of immune system, so putting small amounts of viruses into their bodies can cause all sorts of health problems for them, especially, if they have a sensativity to some of the ingredients used in the manufacture of said vaccine. What about all those who served in the armed forces, 20-30 yrs ago, who got tons of immunizations & now have boat-loads of health problems? Not connected to whatever was/is in the vaccines? Studies claim they are related? I'm also "very" allergic to many things, I stear clear of meds., doctors, etc., b/c past experience has taught me, the medical people either do NOT read what I've just spent an hr. or more filling out, or they just don't give a damn. I have been given meds that I am deathly allergic too, even after I have filled out questionaires about family history as well as "what are you allergic too?" questions. My last 3 girls, who are now grown, healthy, beautiful, & non-obese, I mite add, adults, were not given "any" innoculations as they were growing up. They were never sick w/childhood illnesses either. If they have had any immunizations, it's on them, their decision, as educated, responsible, adults. Unprotected s e x, is the cause of more than just warts, viruses, & pregnancy. I figure if 75-80% of the population gets immunized, then those who don't choose too, are protected, b/c those innoculated won't be carriers of illnesses. Therefore, I won't get sick, problem solved. Yes, a healthy immune system helps to keep one in better health. I use white vinegar to disinfect my hands, work surfaces, the hand-hold on shopping carts, menus, toilet seats, & more. It's cheap, can be diluted to 50% vinegar-50% water, & it still disinfects. It's also a great softener in your laundry & I use it in my rinse water before I use a fabric softener. If great-great granny found many uses for white vinegar when there was little else, then, why don't we? The vinegar oder disapates quickly, doesn't damage DNA like bleach products do. Bleach fumes causes breathing problems for those who are sensative to them. I carry a small spray bottle of white vinegar in my purse, & use it often. I am rarely ill, no colds, flu, pnuemonia, etc. The last vaccine I had was in 1962, I had a small pox vacination which didn't "take".

    May 9, 2012 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • science

      HPV was "out there" when you were in school. The diseases caused by HPV infections have caused agony and death in your and subsequent generations. The vaccine was developed once scientists discovered the cause of the diseases (HPV strains) and realized that their transmission could be prevented.

      Your argument about 75% of the population being vaccinated leading to eventual eradication neglects a few things such as the length of time (in generations) until eradication. Vaccinating only 3/4 of the population subjects at least one or two more generations to this horror. Vaccinating nearly all of a given generation stops it cold.

      As far as your (and my) protection goes, we are hosed. This virus is prolific in both of our generations. People that we both care about will suffer and die because of this. No one should have to. It is absolutely unconscionable to withhold this vaccine from the current and subsequent generations who can benefit from it.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
    • thermaljockey

      Back in the day, we didn't need vaccinations to survive life...

      Tell it to the hundreds of thousands who died from polio and smallpox. If you were born in 1948 as you stated, you should be old enough to know better. When you were born, there were many of your contemporaries dying each year from polio. By the time you were 20, there were none.

      Yep. Vaccines are so bad. That's why we shouldn't allow them to eradicate more disease. /sarcasm off

      June 5, 2012 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
  17. thinquer

    Paretns , update the "sex " talk you give your teens. See the BBC health item today about the connection between oral sex and throat cancers. People need to realize oral sex is not safe sex. They will not hear about it in Health Class in school for five years, and it could be too late by then.

    May 9, 2012 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. thinquer

    Hello, please log me out. TY!

    May 9, 2012 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Denise

    So if some are viral and some baterial..... then anti virals and anti bacterials is this why we rarely ever see Dr.s on Chemo?

    May 9, 2012 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. isadore

    Instead of vaccines, let's start treating our bodies with some respect and honor and quit F@!ing everyone we.

    May 9, 2012 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Ruth

    How do we know the VACCINES aren't CAUSING cancer?

    May 9, 2012 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • VladT

      Why does someone ( am I guessing without any type of medical background and/or degree ) believe they do? Oh wait, Jim Carrey's ex wife says they are evil and they give people cooties.

      May 9, 2012 at 08:32 | Report abuse |
  22. Canopy

    Infections are difficult to heal when you have inflammation that doesn't go away.

    May 9, 2012 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. drjoe

    This is why less educated people live shorter lives on average just read these comments below.

    May 9, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. mindanoiha

    HPV vaccine Gardasil has not yet been shown to prevent any incidence of cancer whatsoever. It may actually cause cancer in several ways:

    – The vaccine has not been tested for carcinogenicity (according to information from Merck the manufacturer).
    – The virus strains which replace the original ones may be more carcinogenic than the ones replaced.
    – The presence of recombinant (gene modified) HPV DNA may cause malignancies.

    May 9, 2012 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HW

      First, there are no "virus strains" in the HPV vaccine. It is a subunit vaccine, which means that it only contains protein the normally surrounds the actual virus DNA. Let me repeat, there is no viral DNA, recombinant or otherwise, in the HPV vaccine. No DNA means no viral infection, which means NO CHANCE of cancer.

      But thanks for playing.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      It is true that the vaccine has not yet been shown to prevent cancer itself. This is because it takes decades for HPV infection to progress to cancer. The vaccine HAS been shown to prevent infection by the most carcinogenic strains of HPV. Over 99% of cervical cancers are caused by uncleared HPV infections. Since this vaccine prevents infection by these strains it is a very safe bet that it will prevent the subsequent development of cancer.

      May 9, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
  25. Tex71

    Americans are perhaps the most vaccinated population on the planet – and also the one with the highest rate of cancer. There is something missing here.

    May 9, 2012 at 09:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • science

      Something missing, such as most vaccines that Americans receive do not target cancer? How are we doing relative to non-vaccinated regions on Polio? Whooping cough? Measles? TB?

      Oh, most of those diseases are eradicated even though they had their with populations as late as the early 20th century? I wonder why?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
  26. Ethics Board

    Also just in, 6 out of 6 cancers are caused by genetics

    May 9, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • science

      Caused by genetic mutations, you mean. What causes these mutations you ask? Many things, including viral infections.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • vmv

      Do you think that carcinogens in our food and our environment have nothing to do with cancer?

      May 9, 2012 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
    • vmv

      Ethics Board: Do you think that carcinogens in our food and our environment have nothing to do with cancer?

      May 9, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  27. Sam

    I wish the vaccine were available when I was young enough to get it. I must believe that those who refuse it have never watched a loved one die from cancer. HPV causes cervical cancer and oral cancer. Google HPV oral cancer and you will see the terrifying stories of men who got tumors from oral sex. The prognosis for oral cancer is not good and I don't believe there is a HPV test for men. By the time they detect a tumor, usually at the dentist, it is too late. Treatment is disfiguring and debilitating. Get your sons and daughters vaccinated!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Jeff

    How sad that there are people out their that would deprive their children of vaccines, just because they have flaky, silly ideas about the whole thing. Do you think you know more than a doctor?

    May 9, 2012 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vmv

      Jeff: Thousands of girls have had adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine, and there have been unexplained deaths following vaccination.

      May 9, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
  29. Jen

    1. Does the vaccine protects you from getting HPV from oral sex?
    2. Does this vaccine causes infertility?

    May 9, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HW

      The answer to your first question is yes, the HPV vaccine does protect against oral and anal cancers as well as cervical cancers caused by the 4 HPV strains that cause bulk of HPV-related cancers. This is because after 3 HPV vaccinations, people have protective antibodies in the blood against those 4 HPV viruses. The immunity is throughout the body. However, the vaccine is only protective if it is given before exposure to the virus.

      The vaccine will not cause infertility. The vaccine is only made of protein, there is no live OR dead virus in it. There is also no viral DNA in the vaccine, so there is no chance that the vaccine could cause an HPV-like illness or infertility.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
  30. deborah

    HPV is a virus; the vaccine will (supposedly) protect against 4 strains, and then another will mutate and become a bad player....that is what viruses do......also, there may have been only 70 deaths "perhaps" associated with the HPV vaccine, but the morbidity is much much higher, lots of bad side effects, many of which I am sure the drug company who is making mega-bucks from pushing this vaccine on all boys and girls do not want to acknowledge......

    May 9, 2012 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. mac101

    My guess is, there are other cancers that are linked to an initial viral infection, we just haven't found them yet. And this article highlights the true problem with the "war on cancer-" we are aggressively looking for cures when we really should be researching prevention.

    My guess is that excessive stress, elevated hormone levels, pesticides, diet – these are the things that we will eventually find out cause cancer to a much greater degree than the pharmaceutical companies want you to know. But as long as the research money is directed toward new drugs, new diagnostic tests, and new treatment, instead of finding out the cause and aggressively pushing prevention, we will continue to lose millions of lives and billions of dollars.

    How much cheaper is it to prevent cancer in the first place? We may never know.

    May 9, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FCBuckeye

      Agree, prevention is the best mode of ELIMINATING CANCER. Cancer is hard to cure especially once it has left its primary site. From cervicalcancer.org :
      Pre-cancerous cells can take 10-15 years to develop into cancer so early detection is very important in treating cervical cancer. Fortunately, more than 90% of this type of cancer is curable if the disease is detected and treated early enough. Routine exams such as Pap smears can greatly reduce your risks of contracting and dying from cervical cancer. The introduction of the Pap smear test in 1941 has greatly reduced the number of cervical cancer-related deaths. Pap smears have lowered worldwide annual deaths by approximately 2% decline each year. They have also reduced the overall death rate by approximately 74% since the tests were first implemented. The test is considered the most successful cancer screening technique ever discovered. Imaginis provides more detailed information about the Pap smear and its effect on cervical cancer:
      What they don't mention is that often times women get a colposcopy which helps eliminate cancer, but has risks associated with pregnancy such as preterm delivery/miscarriages. Why not improve these outcomes with a vaccine. Why not improve women who do not routinely get PAP smears done for one reason or another. Why not prevent oral cancers that may not even be sexually related. The vaccine is likely to work (good assumption they aren't stupid, there method is sound, similar vaccines such as the polio vaccine have done wonders). Few people have any adverse affect and fewer have permanent side effects and even fewer MAY die. However, many people will not go through the hell that is cancer whether it cervical cancer or oral cancer or anal cancer.

      For naysayers please do research before you make a decision. Not only with your ownselves, but your children. Do this not only with medicine, but EVERYTHING as it will change your lives. Poor assumptions are bad assumptions.

      May 10, 2012 at 09:20 | Report abuse |
  32. vmv

    The conclusions of this "study" appear to have the purpose of promoting vaccines, in particular, the HPV vaccine. There have been a number of unexplained deaths in teenage girls following Gardasil vaccinations. (See website, unexplaineddeaths; also, the NVIC website has a lot of information on the HPV vaccine.) The reported adverse reactions to the vaccine include deaths, convulsions, paralysis, GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome), autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, anaphylaxis, and cervical cancers.
    Most cases of HPV infection clear up on their own, with no treatment. There are co-factors, such as smoking and malnutrition, that contribute to developing cervical cancer. There are several thousand videos on Youtube of girls telling their story of how their lives were adversely affected by the HPV vaccine.

    May 9, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Valentijn

      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, not "chronic fatigue". Or even better yet, the US could acknowledge the existence of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis like the rest of the world (and the World Health Organization) does.

      May 10, 2012 at 01:01 | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      Yeah...I'm gonna take my advice from someone who actually knows a thing or two about medicine. And basic factual reporting.

      May 10, 2012 at 01:37 | Report abuse |
  33. jsquare

    I think prions cause 99.9% of all diseases

    May 9, 2012 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeramieH

      Didn't pass your microbiology course, eh?

      May 10, 2012 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
  34. SixDegrees

    Judging from the number of anti-vaccine posts here, they need to change the lyrics of that song to "Don't Worry! Be Stupid!"

    May 10, 2012 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. happy


    May 10, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply

    Although US, UK, EU cancer rate due to infections is supposedly a third of that in so-called developing countries, economic impact of this preventable cancer incidence in US is many times greater than in the rest of the world, as the US, EU accounts for 50 percent of the World GDP. This productivity loss and healthcare costs can be reduced drastically by learning and practicing healthy behavior, now that it is established that infectious diseases cause cancer. Some behaviors causing these infections: oral sex of all kinds, anal sex, anal sex followed by oral sex. Sex with those who practice this behavior. Lung cancer, the leading cause of death in women, is also caused by cat, dog dander parasites. These types of cancers, AIDS, Schizophrenia and resulting productivity loss and healthcare costs to US economy is preventable by avoiding the above behaviors and pets.

    May 13, 2012 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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  40. bankrupt due to student loans

    i try very hard to be treated quickly for infections, but the system blocks me every step of the way.

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  41. Kevin Bond

    Relax! Let everybody know – the burden of worldwide health problems can actually be brought to zero.


    The most astounding discovery in history has been made – the complete prevention and cure of any cancers and infectious diseases on Earth. Nature has provided us the enormous power of being as healthy as Gods, we just gotta activate it. Doing the Immunizer, all of us – kids and adults – can be any bugs and cancers killers and enjoy the perfect health all the time, all our lives, regardless of age, environmental and occupational exposure and lifestyle (like smoking, diet, sex life, stress, sexual orientation, obesity, etc.).
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    Then all of us – kids and adults – will stay as healthy as Gods on our planet Earth now and for generations to come, till the end of time.
    Further details of the incredible Immunizer are available upon request.

    September 17, 2013 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Alex

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    December 19, 2013 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. VirusCancerKiller

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    September 12, 2015 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.