Hepatitis B is a liver infection that is caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The infection is transmitted from person to person through contact with infected body fluid such as blood or semen. Hepatitis B can be passed on through sexual contact, sharing needles, or even from mother to baby during birth.
Types of Hepatitis B include:
- Acute Hepatitis B Infection: This type of Hepatitis B doesn’t last very long but will cause symptoms such as fatigue, vomiting, and a notable symptom called jaundice which involves yellowing of the eyes and the skin.
- Chronic Hepatitis B Infection: When the Hepatitis B virus doesn’t leave the body, it can cause a chronic liver infection eventually leading to scarring of liver tissue (cirrhosis) or even liver cancer. This is why getting vaccinated for Hepatitis B can be one way to greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer.
The CDC recommends that the Hepatitis B vaccine should be given through succeeding shots starting from a child’s birth until they are six months old. However, the vaccine is recommended for those who are at risk of developing this infection.
Vaccines are types of medicines that help the immune system to familiarize and fend off certain diseases even if the body has not yet been exposed to a particular virus or bacteria.
Despite the fact that there is no existing vaccine against cancer, other vaccines such as the Hepatitis B Vaccine or the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (anti cervical cancer vaccine) are types of vaccines that can reduce your chances of cancer by preventing a disease that may lead to the development of cancer cells.
Learn more about cancer, here.