ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwired - May 05, 2016) - The Prevent Cancer Foundation is calling for an increase in screenings and treatment for hepatitis C through their recently launched Think About the Link campaign. The campaign efforts are underscored by the release of new studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that reveal hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease reported to CDC. According to preliminary CDC surveillance data, deaths associated with hepatitis C reached an all-time high of 19,659 in 2014.
"With 3.5 million Americans currently living with hepatitis C, half of whom are unaware of their infection, we need to educate the public on the link between hepatitis C and liver cancer now more than ever," said Carolyn R. Aldigé, Prevent Cancer Foundation president and founder. "Too many people are dying from a virus that can be treated and cured."
Think About the Link is an education campaign that aims to increase awareness of the connection between certain viruses and cancer, including hepatitis C and liver cancer. According to a recent survey conducted by the Foundation, 73 percent of adults are not aware hepatitis C can be treated and cured, greatly reducing the risk of liver cancer.i
Another CDC study published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases found that in 2013 the number of deaths among Americans as a result of hepatitis C infection surpassed the number of deaths resulting from 60 other infectious diseases combined, including HIV, pneumococcal disease and tuberculosis. Hepatitis C rates are highest among the baby boomer generation -- individuals born between 1945 and 1965.
"Hepatitis C is a treatable and beatable disease as long as it is diagnosed early," said Dr. Erich Sturgis, member of the Think About the Link Advisory Council and professor and head and neck surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center. "I encourage all baby boomers to speak with their health care provider and get tested."
Visit preventcancer.org to learn more about Think About the Link and find out if you are at risk for hepatitis C or other viruses that cause certain cancers, including hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV). Be sure to receive the available vaccines, screenings and treatments that can help Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™
About Think About the Link
Think About the Link is a multi-year education campaign developed by the Prevent Cancer Foundation to increase awareness of the connection between certain viruses and cancer. The campaign is focused on three viruses linked to cancer: human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Think About the Link aims to increase screening rates for the viruses, increase immunization rates for HPV and hepatitis B and raise awareness of and access to available treatment options for hepatitis C.
About the Prevent Cancer Foundation
Since 1985, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has invested $142 million in support of cancer prevention research, education, outreach and advocacy nationwide and has played a pivotal role in developing a body of knowledge for prevention and early detection strategies. The Foundation is the only U.S. nonprofit organization solely devoted to cancer prevention and early detection. It has funded more than 450 scientists at more than 150 leading medical institutions across the country. The Foundation's public education programs have applied this scientific knowledge to inform the public about ways they can reduce their cancer risk.
i Statistics sourced from a survey conducted by the Prevent Cancer Foundation in partnership with Russell Research Firm.