Examples of Human Cancer Viruses

Only a few viruses that infect human cells actually cause cancer. Included in this category are viruses implicated in cervical cancer, liver cancer, and certain lymphomas, leukemias, and sarcomas. These infectious viruses that can increase the risk of getting cancer can often be spread from person to person. For example, the risk of cervical cancer is increased in women with multiple sexual partners and is especially high in women who marry men whose previous wives had this disease. Transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) during sexual relations appears to be involved.