About half of Sacramento's Asian communit are immunized against Hepatitis B, compared to only 20% six years ago, according to the U.C. Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Moon Chen is a hemotologist and oncologist at U.C. Davis. He says the Hepatitis B virus is a major cause of liver cancer.
"This could include Hepatitis C which is a different kind of virus. It could include alcohol consumption. But, Hepatitis B is a principal risk factor and that is transmitted typically from mother to child. However that infection does not become apparent until maybe 20-to-30 years afterwards.
Chen says about ten percent of Asians have the virus and 80-percent of them will get liver cancer. Chen says a group of low-income people in a recent study who had not contracted the virus will get the second of three shots tomorrow.
U.C. Davis runs public service announcements in Hmong, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese encouraging people to request a Hep B test. Doctors of Asian patients in the U.C. Davis Health System are also reminded to order Hepatitis screenings for their patients.