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Public unaware of main cause of liver cancer

Janssen-backed survey finds one in six people is aware of viral hepatitis role in the disease

liver cancer thumb
Janssen's hepatitis-liver cancer infographic (click on image to see full version)

Just one in six people is aware that the main cause of liver cancer, the sixth most common cancer, is viral hepatitis, according to a survey supported by Janssen EMEA – a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Timed to mark Liver Cancer Awareness Month (October) and supported by the World Hepatitis Alliance, the European Liver Patients Association and the International Liver Cancer Association, the survey also found low public awareness of the prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis.

More than 9 out of ten (91 per cent) of the 5,000 people surveyed knew little or nothing about viral hepatitis, with levels of awareness varying across the countries covered. Respondents also lacked understanding of the transmission routes of hepatitis.

Over half (56 per cent) were unsure of the symptoms, prevention and treatment of hepatitis. Just under half (49 per cent) knew that there is a vaccine for hepatitis B, and 45 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, that hepatitis B and C can be treated.

 In addition, 40 per cent of respondents were unaware that hepatitis C is a potentially curable disease. There was a huge variation in this between countries, with Turkey showing the greatest awareness in this area (76 per cent) and the UK the lowest (48 per cent).

“The lack of public awareness of viral hepatitis is of grave concern,” said Achim Kautz, policy director, European Liver Patients Association.

“To drive improvements in testing and diagnosis rates, improved public awareness about the virus is necessary so that people can assess whether they have been at risk of infection, and come forward for testing,” he added.

22nd October 2013

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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