Jana Böseler-Adler, Naturopath, Travemünde, Germany
Viruses and cancer risk
A. Can viruses trigger cancer?
Scientists believe that one in six of all cancers worldwide can be attributed to infections caused by viruses. This was revealed in an analysis by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO).
B. What are viruses?
Viruses are microscopic particles. They are primarily constructed of genetic material and a protective protein shell. Unlike practically all other living organisms, viruses have no metabolism of their own. This makes them different from other pathogens too including bacteria. Viruses depend therefore on the cells of a living organism for replication, i.e. they need a host.
Viruses can be roughly classified into two types based on the chemical properties of their genetic information: DNA viruses (short for deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA viruses (short for ribonucleic acid). We then cat...