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An association between cancer and chronic inflammation has been recognized for centuries. Hermann Boerhaave of Leiden (1668-1738) wrote that inflammation might lead to “scirrhus” (scar formation), and that scirrhus “may change to cancer under unfavorable circumstances.”1 Many of the cancers related to inflammation are associated with specific viral, parasitic, or bacterial infections (eg, hepatitis C, papillomavirus, schistosomes, Helicobacter), others to chronic nonspecific infections (eg, chronic urinary catheters with recurrent infections, chronic cholecystitis, draining cutaneous ulcers from osteomyelitis), and still others to noninfectious chronic inflammatory processes, such as ulcerative colitis, reflux esophagitis, chronic pancreatitis, and atrophic gastritis.2
Weitzman SA. Lung Cancer Risk Following Detection of Pulmonary Scarring by Chest Radiography in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial—Invited Commentary. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(21):2332. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.21.2332
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