In the provisional clinical opinion, ASCO recommends the following:
- Right now, there is not enough scientific evidence about the benefits and risks of screening every patient with cancer for HBV who is receiving, or about to receive, chemotherapy.
- People who are infected with HBV or at higher risk of having HBV (based on the risk factors listed above) may have an increased risk of liver failure if the virus reactivates once chemotherapy begins. For this reason, it is important to tell your doctor if you believe you are infected with HBV or have been exposed to HBV.
- The decision to test for HBV should be made with your doctor, discussing the risks and benefits of having the test.
- If you are tested, and the results are positive for HBV infection, then the doctor can consider giving antiviral medication before and throughout the course of chemotherapy.
- A patient's treatment should not be delayed because of screening or treating HBV.