Prevalence of Hepatitis B virus infection among cancer patients at Mulago Cancer Institute
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There are 2 billion people at risk of getting the virus and 350 million are HBV chronic carriers(MacLachlan and Cowie 2015).In Africa,25% of the population is infected with the virus(Kramvis and Kew 2007). According to a study carried out in 2004, the prevalence of HBV stands at 10% in Uganda(Ochola, Ocama et al. 2013). Hepatitis B virus is transmitted through blood transfusions, having unprotected sex and sharing of needles(Komas, Vickos et al. 2013). The fight against hepatitis b virus can be staged through sensitization of the population about the dangers they face once diagnosed with the virus and through immunization. According to a strategy by the world health organization, the hepatitis b vaccine has been incorporated into the childhood immunization whereby the first dose is given at 6 weeks(MacLachlan and Cowie 2015). This has been adopted by the Uganda national expanded program on immunization(UNEPI)(Ochola, Ocama et al. 2013). A few clinical case studies detected HBV in non-liver tissues, suggesting a potential role of HBV in the oncogenesis of non-liver cancers. Few population-based prospective studies have observed associations between chronic HBV infection and various nonliver cancers, but these findings were inconsistent(MacLachlan and Cowie 2015).The lack of detailed individual information led to minimal control of potential confounding. Hospital-based identification of participants might also overestimate the incidence of nonliver cancer in patients with HBV(MacLachlan and Cowie 2015). Cancer patients are a very vulnerable to HBV infection. This is because these some of these patients are already on chemotherapy which weakens their immune system. Chemotherapy reactivates HBV in some patients that could be having latent infection. Some cancers are malignant and the spread to various organs including the liver, this predisposes patients to developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer patients especially those undergoing anti-cancer treatment like chemotherapy, anti CD20 therapy are at risk of acquiring Hepatitis B virus infection due to immunosuppression states. Most people are not well informed about HBV and cannot afford the initial testing and vaccination and, those who are found positive cannot afford treatment(Dongdem, Kampo et al. 2012). It was therefore essential to access the HBV records and determine prevalence of HBV among cancer patients between January 2019 and October 2019 in an effort to formulate strategy plans of combatting HBV infection and guide proper decision making towards the infection in cancer patients. The aim of this study was to determine the percentage of Hepatitis B Virus infection among the cancer patients at Mulago cancer institute between January 2019 and October 2019, to determine the gender with the highest number of HBV infections and to determine the age groups of cancer patients with the highest rates of Hepatitis B Virus infection. A retrospective chart review was done. Every 2nd consecutive file was selected as a sample for data abstraction from the sample pool of patient admission files organized as per dates of patient admission from January 2019 to October 2019. After accessing the patient’s information, a data abstraction form was used to record down any of the study-relevant data.