Carcinogenic Viruses and Bacteria
Radiation, ultraviolet sun rays, smoking, foods containing carcinogenic substances, air pollution, heavy metals, such as many factors can lead to cancer. It is now necessary to add some bacteria and viruses to these factors as well. Viruses that can stay in the human body for many years and cause changes in human cells can lead to cancer. However, this does not mean that viruses will necessarily cause cancer. Many people think that viruses are small creatures that cause unpleasant summer colds. But you may be surprised to learn that some viruses can cause cancer. The course of diseases caused by viruses or bacteria can be different in every person. Depending on the conditions, viruses or bacteria can cause a simple infection in some people, while cancer can occur in others.
Viruses are considered to be the simplest forms of life. They are made up of genetic material hidden in a sheath of protein. Viruses that carry on their lives like parasites do not have the ability to reproduce on their own. They enter into the cells they adhere to and use the formations inside the cell to multiply. So they turn the cells into a virus-producing factory. Viruses that reproduce, kill the cell they are in, and then flock to new cells and control those cells. Some viruses reproduce within the cell, and instead of killing the cell, they attach their genetic code to the cell's DNA to provide permanent dominance in that cell. As the cell proliferates, the genetic code of the virus also passes to new cells. For example, Herpes virus, which causes herpes in the lips, places its genetic code in nerve root cells. When the person's immune system weakens, the production of the virus begins and herpes sores appear on the lip due to it. As the immune system gets stronger, it becomes able to cope with infection and the wounds heal. The changes caused by viruses in the cell can lead to uncontrolled cell proliferation over time, which means cancer. Some viruses in particular cause certain types of cancer. Although the virus-cancer link has been known for a long time, it has taken many years to understand the links at the molecular level, and only in the last 20-30 years have the mechanisms been largely uncovered. In 1908, two scientists, Wilhelm Ellermann and Oluf Bang, mentioned the existence of a contagious virus that causes blood cancer in chickens. Later studies using electron microscopy showed that this microbe was a virus. In the following years, a researcher named Peyton Rous was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1966 as a result of his studies showing a type of virus that causes cancer in chickens.
Even if you are infected with a virus that is associated with cancer, it does not necessarily mean that you will get the disease. There are also things you can do to avoid getting the virus in any way, from vaccines to lifestyle changes.
The Mechanism Of Viruses Causing Cancer
While viruses reproduce using the genetic structure of the cell, they can also lead to various changes in cell DNA. Changes in cell DNA happen over time. Genetic accidents caused by the virus occur years after it enters the cell. Viruses that enter and settle inside the cell cause such accidents that affect the capacity of cells to multiply. As a result of such accidents, the behavior of cells changes and normal control mechanisms can be disrupted. If the mechanisms that control cell division are disrupted, the cells can multiply uncontrollably, meaning they can become cancerous. The link between cancer and viruses has been suspected for almost 100 years, but significant molecular evidence has been obtained in the past 20 years that viruses lead to cancer. In some types of cancer, the presence of a specific virus was shown in each cancer cell. This is either the virus itself or the virus that is embedded in the cell DNA in the cancer cells.
His DNA was shown. These findings were the first evidence that viruses are linked to certain types of cancer. In addition, healthy cells that come into contact with these viruses in cell cultures have also been shown to undergo changes and begin to reproduce uncontrollably. Investigations found a genetic code of the virus stuck to the DNA in all of these cells.
Carcinogenic Bacteria and Viruses
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)
In some cases, hepatitis C can lead to a liver infection that can lead to liver cancer. These viruses can infect you when you use the same needle as others to inject drugs, have unprotected sex, or have contaminated blood transfusions. Hepatitis viruses, especially hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) as the name implies, are the cause of hepatitis. They can cause jaundice by causing an infection in the liver. They can cause acute or chronic hepatitis. Acute infection, that is, hepatitis, which starts abruptly and causes jaundice, is cured to a greater extent. However, chronic infections without symptoms usually remain silent for years. Some patients liver cirrhosis may develop liver cancer i.e. some failure occurs primarily directly.
Doctors can treat HBV and HCV infections with medication. After several months of treatment, usually HCV can be completely removed from the body. The drugs do not improve HBV, but they reduce the likelihood of liver damage and cancer.
Although there is a vaccine to prevent HCV, there is no vaccine to prevent HCV. People who are at high risk of contracting HBV should be vaccinated. This includes HIV patients, those using illegal drugs or healthcare workers.
Herpes virus (KSHV) associated with Kaposi's sarcoma)
KSHV virus is a herpes virus that can cause Kaposi's sarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels, as well as two types of lymphoma. If you have an Organ transplant, have chemotherapy, and have AIDS, your immune system (your body's defense system against germs) is weak, which increases your chances of getting cancer.
This virus can spread through sexual intercourse, and so using condoms and limiting people you have sex with can prevent transmission of the virus. It can also be spread through blood and saliva.
Merkel-cell polyomavirus (MCV)
MCV is a common virus that causes skin infection. It usually does not cause any symptoms or cause cancer. However, in some people, MCV causes a rare form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma.
One important thing to do to avoid Merkel cell carcinoma and other types of skin cancers is to use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF when you're out.
Human papilloma virus (HPV)
HPV is a group of more than 200 viruses involved, with at least twelve of them causing cancer. HPV spreads during vaginal or anal sex.
HPV usually heals spontaneously and causes no health problems. But some people live with this inflammation. It can cause cervical, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, tonsils or tongue cancers in people with cancer-causing HPV infection. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes more genital warts. This virus also occurs quite frequently in society, such as EBV. One in two sexually active women will definitely experience HPV throughout their life. Sometimes this disease has remained asymptomatic most of the time, which causes warts on skin and mucous membranes in the genital area, but more importantly, especially infection with HPV types 16 and 18 known to cause cancer is not a symptom of any infection, but may occur as cervical cancer many years later. In the same way, this virus can be detected in cancers of the anus and penis. In addition, some types of HPV cause larynx cancers.
HPV vaccines can prevent the virus from infecting you. Health officials recommend getting these vaccines for young women from the age of 26 and young men from the age of 21.
Type 1 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1 or HIV)
HIV is spread through unprotected sex and infected needles. An unborn baby can also be caught during pregnancy or an HIV-infected mother can transmit the virus to her baby while breastfeeding.
People with HIV have a weakened immune system and are more likely to develop cancers similar to the following:
- Kaposi's Sarcoma
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Cervical cancer.
You can help prevent the spread of HIV by using condoms during sex and avoiding sharing needles you use to inject drugs. You can also use drugs that prevent HIV transmission, such as pre-contact prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-contact prophylaxis (PEP).
Although there is no cure, you can control HIV with treatment.
Type 1 human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1)
HTLV-1 infects T cells, a type of white blood cell. It causes leukemia and lymphoma.
HTLV-1's many propagation paths include:
- Passing from mother to baby through childbirth or breastfeeding
- Using the same needle with people infected with the disease
- Having sex without using a condom
About 2 to 5 percent of people infected with the virus experience adult T-cell leukemia or other health problems. Some people have leukemia, while others do not. Symptoms and the way the disease develops vary from person to person.
HTLV-1 has no cure or cure. Lifetime borne illness. But regular health checks reduce your chances of getting cancer.
Use condoms to help prevent the spread of this virus and try to restrict the number of people you have had sex with. If you are a woman and you are infected, you should not breastfeed your child.
Epstein Barr virus (EBV)
EBV is a common virus. This virus infects most people at some point in their life. Most people infected with EBV live a healthy life and show no symptoms.
EBV actually causes the feverish disease known as ‘Kiss disease’, especially in adolescent children. This disease, which is usually benign, is cured spontaneously without treatment. 80-90 percent of the population experiences this virus at some point in their lives. However, EBV has been identified among the causes of some types of lymphoma and nasopharynx (pharynx) cancer.
In other people, EBV can cause serious diseases ranging from mononucleosis and viral meningitis to pneumonia.
Some cancers are also associated with EBV:
- Burkitt Lymphoma
- Nasopharynx cancer (upper pharynx cancer)
- Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- T-cell lymphomas
- Lymphoproliferative disease (red blood cell excess) after transplant)
- Leiomyosarcoma (soft tissue cancer)
There is no vaccine for EBV, but you can protect yourself by avoiding kissing and sharing drinks, food and personal items with infected people.
There is no specific treatment for people with EBV, but you can relieve symptoms by drinking plenty of water, resting, and using painkillers and fever-reducing drugs.
Helicobacter Pylori (HP)
Helicobacter pylori bacteria can cause stomach and twelve finger ulcers. This disease is usually cured with a good fit of treatment and becomes chronic in some people. Stomach cancer is more common in people who have lived with Helicobacter infection for many years. For this reason, it is very useful to treat Helicobacter patients.
A bacterium in the gut raises the risk of developing cancer
A bacterium in the gut was found to increase the risk of developing bowel cancer. According to" the Guardian, " a study by scientists at the University of Bristol in England found that people with an unclassifiable type of Bacteroidales in their gut had a 2 to 15 per cent greater risk of bowel cancer than those without it.
The results were presented at the Cancer Conference of the National Institute of cancer research in Glasgow, Scotland, and the gut flora and genetic data of 4 thousand people were examined.
The study, which examined whether there was any relationship between the presence of certain gut bacteria and genetic variables, concluded that 13 genetic variables were linked to the variability of a different gut bacterium.
Then, the gut flora and genetic data of 2 thousand people were examined and the effect of genetic variability on the risk of bowel cancer was looked at.
Studies have found that those who are most likely to have Bacteroides bacteria in their gut are 2 to 15 percent more likely to have bowel cancer.
Euphusobacterium nucleatum, Bacteroides fragilis and Escherichia coli
Precautions and Measures
Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are available and highly effective in preventing cases of cancer that can be caused by viruses and bacteria. Hepatitis B vaccine is now available to infants 1. it's done a month and completed in 3 doses. However, adults can also be vaccinated if they are not immune at any time in their lives. The HPV vaccine is ideally offered to girls (usually 12-14 years old) who have not had their first sexual experience. However, this can be done to all women under the age of 50, such as hepatitis B. Even if you have had sexual intercourse before, it is protective effect in terms of HPVs that you will encounter after that. He is also completing 3 doses, such as hepatitis B. Helicobacter does not have a vaccine, but it can be treated with antibiotics. A healthy diet, regular sleep, stress-free stay, sports, alcohol and smoking habits will strengthen people's immunity to this type of virus will make it difficult to make cancer.
Viruses Against Cancer-Virotherapy
Viruses can be used to treat cancer just as they cause the cells they attack to become cancerous. This idea originated almost a hundred years ago when some cancerous patients who were vaccinated for the viral disease observed a drop in tumor growth rates and improvement in their overall condition. In 1912, a gynecologist realized that his patient, who had uterine cancer, had a tumor decline after he was given a rabies vaccine with an attenuated virus. After this observation, it became clear that viruses, which can easily enter cells and lead to various diseases and death of cells, can be useful when the necessary changes are provided. Although it is not yet widely available in clinical use, in parallel with advances in genetic engineering, the use of viruses in cancer treatment will perhaps be a routine form of treatment in the near future. The use of viruses in cancer treatment is based on their rapid reproductive capacity within the cell and their ability to kill the cell. Viruses that do not damage Normal cells but reproduce in tumor cells can be used in treatment. When treating cancer, it is very important not to expose the person to serious viral diseases. Directing viruses to the right target, that is, cancerous cells, is one of the major problems that needs to be overcome.
You can see detailed list of viruses and bacteria that can cause cancer at >> Bacterial infections and cancer - NCBI