Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer
The Hepatitis A vaccine and the hepatitis B vaccine prevent infection with hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is no vaccine to prevent infection with hepatitis C. If a person has had one type of hepatitis in the past, it is still possible to get the other types.
Hepatitis viruses include:
Hepatitis A is caused by eating food or drinking water infected with hepatitis A virus. It does not lead to chronic disease. People with hepatitis A usually get better without treatment.
Hepatitis B is caused by contact with the blood, semen, or other body fluid of a person infected with hepatitis B virus. It is a serious infection that may become chronic and cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). This may lead to liver cancer. Blood banks test all donated blood for hepatitis B, which greatly lowers the risk of getting the virus from blood transfusions.
Hepatitis C is caused by contact with the blood of a person infected with hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C may range from a mild illness that lasts a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Most people who have hepatitis C develop a chronic infection that may cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). This may lead to liver cancer. Blood banks test all donated blood for hepatitis C, which greatly lowers the risk of getting the virus from blood transfusions.
Hepatitis D develops in people already infected with hepatitis B. It is caused by hepatitis D virus (HDV) and is spread through contact with infected blood or dirty needles, or by having unprotected sex with a person infected with HDV. Hepatitis D causes acute hepatitis.
Hepatitis E is caused by hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E can be spread through oral- anal contact or by drinking infected water. Hepatitis E is rare in the United States.
Being infected with hepatitis G virus (HGV) has not been shown to cause liver cancer.