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1 of 6 Cancer Deaths Worldwide Caused by Preventable Infections

May 10, 2012 -- One in every six cancer deaths worldwide is caused by preventable infections, a total of 1.5 million deaths yearly that could be halted by widespread vaccination programs, researchers reported Wednesday. Since 1990, that number has grown by about half a million, suggesting that vaccination programs are losing ground in the battle rather than gaining it.  The vast majority of the cases are caused by three viruses and a bacterium, which are the leading causes of gastric, liver and cervical cancers. Cervical cancers account for about half of the infection-related cancers in women, while liver and gastric cancers account for about 80% of those in men.

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