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hiv related cancer
Jun 5, 2008

I have read online about certain cancers such as non-Hodgkins lymphoma that hiv-ers are much more prone to than the negative population.It seems that as we live longer we are increasingly killed by hiv-related cancer. As I get older should my doctor be doing any special tests to detect these more unusual cancers early? What should i do/eat to reduce my cancer chances? should I be taking any anti-cancer vitamins/supplements?

Response from Dr. Moyle

Many cancers, not just the AIDS defining malignancies(which are typically virus related) are more common in persons with HIV. The biggest risk factors for many cancers are age (except testicular cancer) and, of course, smoking. Obesity and heavy alcohol intake are also 'popular' risk factors. Others are infuenced by co-infections (like hepatitis B and C for liver cancer, some wart viruses for anal cancer), hormone supplements (like anabolic steroids and prostatic cancer) and family history (e.g. breast, colon).

A diet rich in antioxidants and micronutrients, fresh fruits and veges, modest meat intake and regular exercise to maintain weight in an ideal range may all be useful in warding off or delaying cancer risk. I am not clear that taking supplements when you have a balanced diet make much difference. Of course, keeping your immune system strong by regularly tking your HIV medication, keeping the viral load undetectable and CD4 high will also make a big difference

Best Wishes

Dr Moyle

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