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increase cancer risk for long term cocktail use
Oct 22, 2003

I recently saw a nes crawl on CNN stating that there is a increased risk of cancer for patients taking HIV cocktails for a long period of time. Could you verify this?

Response from Dr. Henry

Numerous studies have looked for an increased cancer risk in patients surviving long-term with HIV. Other than the HIV associated cancers (KS, lymphoma, cervical/anal cancer) there has been no solid evidence of an increase in other forms of cancer either due to long-term survival with immunosuppression or to use of HIV drugs themselves. As patients live longer they are more apt to develop cancer or heart disease which are the two leading causes of death in the general population. Hepatitis C for example can lead to liver cancer so if co-infected patients survive with their HIV treated but not hepatitis C then they are at increased risk for liver cancer. Many cohort and other epidemiologic studies aremonitoring cancer risk in HIV patients-so far the data looks overall reassuring but more time and data is needed. KH



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