World Hepatitis Day: Street Food can Lead to Cancer on Rainy Day

World Hepatitis Day: Those yummy roadside pakodas can lead to liver cancer.

Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, affecting 325 million people globally. They are root causes of liver cancer, leading to 1.34 million deaths every year.

Hepatitis B and C are chronic infections that may not show symptoms for a long period, sometimes years or decades. At least 60% of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C.

Low coverage of testing and treatment is the most important gap to be addressed in order to achieve the global elimination goals by 2030.

Think twice before you eat hot pakodas at a roadside stall on a rainy day. This can lead to infections including the one as harmful as hepatitis. On World Hepatitis Day today, caution should be taken. we give you all the vital information you must have.

According to Dr. Majid Ahmed Talikoti, Senior Consulant, Oncoplus Cancer Care Centre, eating from roadside stalls during rain can be a factor in the spread of hepatitis A and B.

This is because both of these viral infections are waterborn and occur when a person ingests water or food that has been contaminated. Hence, he recommends avoiding eating out in monsoon, especially at the unhygienic places.

Hepatitis is a condition of inflammation of the liver. It is mostly caused by viral infections. However, it can also be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs, metabolic and autoimmune disorders, among other factors.

There are five kinds of hepatitis, namely A, B,C, D and E. Different viruses are responsible for each type of hepatitis.

Hepatitis A is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated water and food or contact with someone carrying the infection. Hepatitis B and C are common and can be transmitted through the use of old infected needles, unsafe sex, sharing razors with an infected person, etc.

Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that occurs only in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. It is one of the serious kinds of liver diseases. Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease mainly found in areas with poor sanitation.

With the monsoon going on in the country, it is important to be aware about hepatitis. The disease at times is referred to as a silent killer as many people are unaware of its symptoms and some recognise it by the time disease has advanced. According to doctors, yellow discolouration of the skin and whiteness of the eyes, poor appetite, vomiting, tiredness, abdominal pain and diarrhoea are some symptoms of the disease.

Dr. Talikoti says there is a cancer risk in patients with hepatitis C virus. “Across the globe, hepatitis C, besides many lifestyle choices, is a leading cause of liver cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma in patients. hepatitis C affects the liver, causing it to inflame and scar over a long period of time.

Compared with hepatitis B, the symptoms of hepatitis C are negligible but its effects are catastrophic. Even though the chances of succumbing to liver cancer with a hepatitis C infection are slim, the patients are still 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with it, compared to those who don’t have hepatitis C.”

Hepatitis is a growing menace in India. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 2016 report, Viral hepatitis is a serious problem in India with over 52 million people infected with chronic hepatitis in the country.

The assessment by WHO shows that 40 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B and 6 to 12 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C in India.

In 2017, World Health Organization appointed film star Amitabh Bachchan as its goodwill ambassador for hepatitis in South-East Asia Region to boost awareness and intensify action to stop the spread of hepatitis.

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