**Press Release – Prevent Cancer Foundation® stands with The National Academies on elimination of hepatitis B and C to prevent liver cancer**
New report says viruses can be eliminated in the U.S. by 2030
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Berry
ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 29, 2017) – The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (The National Academies) for the release of its new study, “A National Strategy for the Elimination of Hepatitis B and C.” Together, hepatitis B and C are the leading cause of liver cancer. By preventing and/or treating these viruses, we can prevent a majority of liver cancer cases and liver cancer deaths.
The report released Tuesday, March 28, projects that the United States can eliminate hepatitis B and C by 2030 through a combination of prevention, screening, treatment, and creative financing for medicines. Right now there is a vaccine available for hepatitis B, as well as screening and curative treatments for hepatitis C. Immunization against hepatitis B could prevent about 95 percent of infections and unrestricted treatment for hepatitis C could reduce news cases by 90 percent.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® has been urging people to Think About the Link® between viruses and cancer, and get screened, vaccinated and treated for these viruses before cancer develops. However, vaccination and screening rates are low and many people don’t know about the link between viruses and cancer until it is too late.
High-risk groups for hepatitis B include African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders. High-risk groups for hepatitis C include African-Americans, Hispanics and baby boomers (those born between 1945-1965), as well as those who share needles or other equipment for injecting recreational drugs.
“By implementing the strategies outlined by The National Academies for eliminating hepatitis B and C, we can ensure that fewer people endure the pain and suffering caused by these viruses,” said Carolyn Aldigé, President and Founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation®. “In addition, we’d be eliminating the vast majority of liver cancer cases and liver cancer deaths. By preventing and/or treating the viruses, we can very literally stop cancer before it starts.”
In order to achieve the elimination of hepatitis B and C, medical researchers and leaders in public health must continue to receive much needed funding. Recently, the Trump Administration released its first budget proposal, which included steep cuts to medical research, reducing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $6 billion (20 percent) and the overall budget of the Department of Health and Human Services by 18 percent. If enacted, this budget will severely set back the progress that has been made in medical research and programs that save lives.
(Click here to tell your member of Congress to stand up for medical research. Research saves lives.)
To speak with a Prevent Cancer Foundation® representative about hepatitis B and C and liver cancer, please contact Lisa Berry at 703-519-2107 or Lisa.Berry@preventcancer.org.
About Think About the Link®
Think About the Link® focuses on three viruses that can lead to cancer: HPV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The campaign travels the country to increase awareness of the link between viruses and cancer, increase immunization rates for HPV and hepatitis B, and increase awareness of and access to treatment for hepatitis C. The ultimate goal of Think About the Link® is to prevent virally-induced cancers.
About The Prevent Cancer Foundation®
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, the Foundation has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy nationwide.