Viruses and bacteria

Few would connect viruses and bacteria to cancer, but some viruses and bacteria do cause cancer. It is estimated that viral and bacterial infections cause 15 to 20 % of all cancers in the world.

Cancers caused by infections are more common in developing countries than in developed countries.

Various viruses and bacterial infections cause cancer in different ways. Some directly affect genes that determine cell growth, others cause chronic inflammatory conditions that may ultimately lead to cancer. Some infections weaken the people’s immune system whereby the body cannot fight cancer.

“Depending on the virus and bacteria, you can protect your health in different ways.”

Most people who get a viral or bacterial infection do not get cancer. Many other factors, such as lifestyles, have an effect on cancer in addition to infection.

You can protect your health in various ways depending on the virus and bacteria. You can protect against certain viruses by using a vaccine or a condom. But there is not always a means of protection.