Please note: This content is an excerpt from the American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures 2005 publication. Please download Cancer Facts & Figures 2005 to see all Tables and Figures noted. Any reproduction or re-use should credit the appropriate Cancer Facts & Figures publication and include a statement of copyright and identify the data source used.


In 2005, it is estimated that 17% of new cancers world-wide will be attributable to infection. This includes 1.5 million (26%) of cancers in economically developing countries, where 84% of the world’s population resides, and 360,000 (7.2%) of cancers in developed countries, where 16% of the world’s population resides. Cancers caused by infections are thought to result from one or more of the following: chronic inflammation, immune suppression, and/or chronic stimulation. Some viruses also directly stimulate cell replication by disrupting cell cycle control. While some of these cancers are preventable by available public health and medical interventions, substantial barriers exist to applying these interventions, especially in developing countries. This review will focus on the most common infection-related cancers in the US for which preventive measures exist: hepatitis B virus (HBV)- and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver cancer, human papilloma virus (HPV)-related cervical cancer, Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori)-related stomach cancer, and human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV)-related Kaposi sarcoma and lymphoma.

Cancer Facts & Figures 2005 Special Section (PDF)