The Hepatitis B virus is one of the most significant hepatocarcinogens globally. The carcinogenic mechanisms of this virus are complex, and may include interactions with the host's immune system. Certain factors, such as stress on the body, can also potentiate these mechanisms. Stress, although adaptive in an acute form, is deleterious to health when chronic and can both suppress and activate the host's defense system. In hepatocellular carcinoma, this can lead to tumor initiation and progression. Those that are more prone to stress, or exposed to situations that incite stress, may be at higher risk of developing cancer. Racial disparities, for example, are a source of chronic psychosocial stress in America and predispose minorities to poorer outcomes. As it remains perplexing why some individuals with chronic hepatitis B develop feared complications while others do not, it is important to recognize as many risk factors as possible, including those often overlooked such as chronic stress.
Noverati, Nicholas; Bashir, Rukaiya; Halegoua-De Marzio, Dina; and Hann, Hie-Won, "Hepatitis B Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Chronic Stress" (2022). Department of Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 351.
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