Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Hepatitis Health Center

Font Size

Hepatitis C May Up Some Lymphoma

Findings May Support Screening Hepatitis C Patients for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 9, 2007 -- Hepatitis C may make non-Hodgkin's lymphoma more likely, researchers report in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

That may mean that people with hepatitis C should be screened for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, note the researchers, who included Eric Engels, MD, MPH, of the National Cancer Institute.

Lymphomas are cancers of the lymph system. Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C infection can cause liver damage, including cirrhosis, and lead to liver cancer. However, most people with hepatitis C infection have no symptoms, and many have little liver damage.

"Although the risk of developing lymphomas is small, our research suggests that screening of HCV-infected individuals could identify conditions which may lead to cancer. It might then be possible to prevent progression to lymphoma," says Engels in a National Cancer Institute news release.

Engels' colleagues included Thomas Giordano, MD, MPH, who works in Houston at the Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

They studied the 1997-2004 medical records of more than 718,000 U.S. military veterans, including more than 146,000 hepatitis C patients.

The veterans -- most of whom were white men -- were 52 years old, on average.

Hepatitis C and Lymphoma

The study shows that veterans with hepatitis C were 20% to 30% more likely to be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma than those without hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C infection was also linked to a nearly threefold increase in a related cancer of white blood cells called Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.

The researchers aren't sure how hepatitis C makes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma more likely, or if the findings apply to other groups of people.

Hepatitis C infection is more common among military veterans than among the general public. About 5% of veterans have hepatitis C, compared with less than 2% of U.S. civilians, according to background information cited in the study.

The researchers call for further studies to probe the possible link between hepatitis C infection and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Today on WebMD

Hepatitus C virus
Types, symptoms and treatments.
liver illustration
Myths and facts about this essential organ.
woman eating apple
What you need to know.
doctor and patient
What causes it?
Hepatitis C Treatment
Syringes and graph illustration
liver illustration
passport, pills and vaccine
Scientist looking in microscope
Fatty Liver Disease
Digestive Diseases Liver Transplantation
Picture Of The Liver
Image Collection