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Cancer patients should be screened for hepatitis B

Added: Saturday 7 January 2012

Prophylactic antivirals to treat hepatitis B can reduce mortality in cancer patients - but treatment must happen before chemotherapy begins. However, less than a fifth of chemotherapy patients in a recent study had been screened for hepatitis B before treatment started. The San Francisco study shows that preventable reactivation of hepatitis B does occur in chemotherapy patients and that screening is a simple solution to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.