On Thursday May 19th, 2016,, as part of our Think About the Link® Campaign and to recognize Hepatitis Testing Day, the Prevent Cancer Foundation participated in a briefing at Philadelphia City Hall, in partnership with the Hep B Foundation, Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia and Hep B United. The purpose of the briefing was to raise Philadelphians’ awareness of the link between hepatitis B, hepatitis C and liver cancer and to urge lawmakers to support testing of the viruses in designated health centers across the city.
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). A person can become infected with hepatitis B through transmission of bodily fluids from a person infected with HBV. Transmission can occur through sexual contact, sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment. It can also be transferred from mother to child during birth.
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus, a blood-borne virus. The most common way hepatitis C is transmitted is by sharing needles or other drug-injection equipment. Hepatitis C becomes a chronic infection for 70 to 85 percent of infected people, but it can also be a short-term illness for some. Chronic hepatitis C can cause life-long health problems and is especially dangerous because people may not even know they are infected if they do not show symptoms.
Are you at risk for carrying one of the possibly deadly viruses? There are many ethnic groups and age populations that are at an increased risk for these viruses.
Read our fact sheet to learn more about both viruses. Unfortunately, most people are unaware that they have hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C. Not knowing your status can be detrimental as both viruses can lead to liver cancer. In fact, about 80 to 95 percent of all liver cancer cases are related to the hepatitis B or hepatitis C viruses. However, liver cancer can be avoided. Vaccination against the hepatitis B virus, and treatment for hepatitis C are proven methods of cancer prevention.
Photo credit: Ginny Robison, Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
Highlighting Hepatitis Testing Day, we encourage you to make an appointment with your health care provider to have you and your family members tested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Be sure to ask about the hepatitis B vaccine, and treatment options for both hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Also, learn more about the Think About the Link® Campaign and our outreach efforts in local U.S. communities. Be sure to help spread the word about the link so we can Stop Cancer Before It Starts!®
Think About the Link™ is funded in part by Merck, Gilead and Abbvie.