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Can cancer cause other diseases?FAQ

While medical professionals do not believe that cancer can directly cause another disease, there are certain diseases and viruses that are linked to cancer. In some cases, cancer can be caused by other diseases, while in other cases cancer may be more likely when certain other diseases are present, and vice versa. Cancer and other serious illnesses can require home healthcare, and recipients of EEOICPA and RECA benefits may be eligible for free home healthcare services. Other seniors who need home healthcare to assist with activities of daily living and medication management should learn more about options available to them when they are dealing with cancer or another type of serious illness.

The following are some frequently asked questions about cancer and its relation to other diseases.

What Diseases Are Linked to Cancer?

According to WebMD, cancer does not necessarily cause other diseases, but there may be causal relationships between some chronic illnesses and cancer. For example, having a heart attack or incurring some types of chronic illness may raise the risk of being diagnosed with cancer. In particular, people who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol are about two times as likely as a person with no chronic illness to develop cancer. For people who have suffered a heart attack, the likelihood of having cancer is about three times as likely than for people who have not had a heart attack.

To be clear, these chronic illnesses do not necessarily cause cancer, and likewise, cancer does not cause these chronic illnesses. Yet these chronic illnesses and cancer commonly are found in the same patients, likely due to similar risk factors.

If Cancer Cannot Cause Other Diseases, Can Other Diseases Cause Cancer?

The American Cancer Society explains that, although cancer is not known to cause other viruses, there are certain viruses that are known to cause cancer. First, human papilloma viruses (HPVs) have been linked to cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the penis, anus, vagina, vulva, mouth, and throat. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a virus that people commonly are infected with at a young age but that can cause certain types of cancer later in life. EBV has been known to increase a person’s risk of developing nasopharyngeal cancer, Burkitt lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and stomach cancer. However, not everyone infected with EBV will develop cancer.

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have also been shown to cause some types of cancer. Most often, these viruses are linked to liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS), does not cause cancer, but it can increase a person’s risk of developing Kaposi sarcoma, cervical cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and other types of cancers.

Other viruses have been linked to certain types of cancers, including human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8), human T-lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1), and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), but these viruses typically have been considered as factors in developing cancer. Cancer cannot cause these viruses.

Seeking Home Healthcare for Cancer and Chronic Illness

Generally speaking, cancer cannot cause other diseases, but some diseases are more prevalent in people with cancer, and some viruses are known to cause cancer. If you are dealing with cancer or another type of chronic illness, you may be able to benefit from home healthcare services and should consider speaking with a representative from United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care.

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In order to be eligible for EEOICPA/RECA benefits, an individual must have been employed at a covered Department of Energy facility, an approved atomic weapons facility, or at a permitted beryllium vendor. An individual must also have one of the covered conditions as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica while employed at an accepted facility. In addition, uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters are eligible for benefits if they develop an illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances (such as radiation, chemicals, solvents, acids, and metals) and worked at a facility covered under RECA. Eligibility requirements vary by location and condition.