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Virus and Cancer

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Virus and Cancer

Speaking of viruses...

What comes into our mind now will be no other than SARS-COV-2 which is the cause for the current pandemic. We now started to realise how an invisible virus can impact our lives as human beings.

Did you know it’s estimated that viruses are also responsible for almost 20% of cancer cases worldwide?

Researchers have found out that 7 viruses are connected to specific types of malignancies. They are also referred to as “oncoviruses”:

1. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a herpes virus that spreads through saliva. EBV infection increases the risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, lymphomas, and also stomach cancer.

2. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is spread through infected blood, semen, and body fluids. HBV is the leading cause of liver cancer. 3. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread through infected blood. HCV is the leading cause of liver cancer and also can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 4. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is spread through infected blood, semen, body fluids, and breast milk. HIV-associated cancers include Kaposi’s Sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cervical, anal, liver, mouth, throat, and lungs cancers. 5. Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is related to Kaposi’s sarcoma in people who have a weakened immune system. That includes patients with HIV. 6. Human papillomavirus (HPV) has at least 12 strains that can cause cancer in men and women, including cervical, anal, penile, throat, vaginal, and vulvar cancer.

7. Human T-cell leukemia virus type, also called human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1) is linked to adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. It is spread through infected semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk. The effects of these viruses on cancer development are highly complicated. We still don’t fully understand how most known oncoviruses cause cancer. What is known is that viruses hijack cells and insert their own DNA or RNA into the host cell. This can cause the host cells to become cancerous.

Those who have weakened immune systems (due to chronic diseases like diabetes, autoimmune disease, infections, poor lifestyle, medications) are more susceptible to viral infection, and once infected the virus also will suppress the immune system of that person. It's a vicious cycle!

If you think you may have or be at risk for an oncovirus, talk to our doctor about how to strengthen your immunity and reduce your cancer risk.


Combining various medical disciplines with a host of functional therapy approaches, RejuvaHub (formerly known as Tree of Life) is a one-stop, fully integrated centre specialised in preventing and managing chronic illnesses. If you want to consult any medical advice on chronic diseases and cancer, please feel free to request our 15 mins Free Online Consultation.

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