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Can Liver Cancer be Prevented?

Can Liver Cancer be Prevented?

There are many ways of preventing liver cancer and these are mostly beneficial to everyone, regardless of their risk factors, because we could all benefit from having a healthier lifestyle in general. Here’s how liver cancer be prevented.

can liver cancer be prevented

How Can Liver Cancer be Prevented? Here’s How

Avoid intake and exposure to different chemicals, especially carcinogenic ones

Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, most especially on a regular basis, can increase cancer risks for a lot of your functional systems including the liver. There are a handful of substances and chemicals to avoid in particular.

  • Aflatoxin. This is found in a kind of mold growth that tends to build up in grains and nuts when stored incorrectly. Make sure to maintain proper preservation and storage methods to avoid this.
  • Arsenic. This can be found in drinking water or compounds used in making plastic products such as vinyl chloride. Some studies point to this substance being carcinogenic in high concentrations.
  • Anabolic steroids. Taking anabolic steroids or male hormones that could build muscle is also a liver cancer risk factor. Consider alternatives or make sure that you are under the strict supervision of a physician.

Limit alcohol intake

Like most liver issues, alcohol plays a big role in causing and worsening liver cancer.

Cirrhosis, the scarring of the liver in the late stage of fibrosis, could be caused by the consumption of alcohol.

If you have any pre-existing complications in the liver, it’s best to completely cut out alcohol from your diet.

Regardless of a previous diagnosis, a healthy and minimal level of alcohol consumption would be beneficial. Make sure to limit alcohol intake and drink in moderation.

What Causes Liver Cancer?

Quit smoking

One way liver cancer can be prevented is to quit smoking. Smoking poses many health risks, that include liver cancer. This is due to the carcinogenic substances present in cigarettes.

Quitting now by making a commitment to reduce smoking until you can sustainably kick the habit entirely will lower overall cancer risk.

Maintain a healthy weight

A healthy weight is the key to a healthier lifestyle and avoiding many complications, especially for liver-related diseases.

Maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy diet helps greatly when it comes to avoiding fatty liver disease and diabetes. Both of which could put you at high risk for liver cancer.

Protect yourself against Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infections

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are liver disorders that can cause liver diseases including cancer, cirrhosis, and even liver failure. Make sure you’ve been vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

Testing or screening tests are also available for people who could be at risk for Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. Although there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C just yet, there are treatment plans available.

What puts a person at risk for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C?

  • Being born between 1945 to 1965
  • Having needed treatment for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • History of undergoing a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July of 1992
  • Using illegal drugs (via injection)
  • Exposure to Hepatitis C in the past year through sex or sharing needles
  • Long-term hemodialysis
  • Having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Having chronic Hepatitis B infections means that you could be suitable for antiviral therapy. This has been proven to prevent numerous liver diseases and slow down the progression of existing ones.

Chronic Hepatitis, in general, should be monitored by experts for proper treatment plans and regular imaging tests like CT scans, MRI scans, or ultrasound to continuously monitor for possibly cancerous growths.

how can liver cancer be prevented

How can liver cancer be prevented: Screening and diagnosis

For those with a history of certain chronic liver diseases or liver cirrhosis, it’s best to set up a prevention plan as early as your doctor diagnoses you with any of these.

Talk to your doctor about the possibility of setting up a surveillance program that could preempt cancer or give you the earliest possible diagnosis for easier treatment.

Sticking to a prevention and surveillance program is best for anyone with already known risks.

Treat related conditions

Treating linked or related liver conditions have all been proven to lower the risk of further complications, liver cancer included.

There are two conditions that are closely linked to liver cancer and the first one is nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. This is better known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and the second one is hemochromatosis.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common for people who are obese or overweight, those with Type 2 diabetes, and those with metabolic syndrome that is characterized by high blood sugar, dense excess fat deposit around the waist, and high cholesterol levels.

This disease causes triglyceride, a form of fat, to deposit and gather in the liver that could lead to damage and cirrhosis.

Hemochromatosis, on the other hand, is a genetic disorder closely linked to liver cancer risks due to this disorder causing the patient to absorb too much iron from food. People who have this are often of Irish descent.

Key Takeaways

Preventing diseases, especially cancer, is all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having your risks assessed early on to be able to know what work needs to be done to eliminate or reduce this risk factor.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Liver Cancer Clinical Trials & Research https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/liver/risk-factors-prevention#:~:text=Ways%20to%20Prevent%20Liver%20Cancer,hepatitis%20B%20and%20C%20viruses Accessed September 20, 2020

Liver Cancer: Causes, Risks, Prevention https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html Accessed September 20, 2020

Liver cancer: Risk Factors and Prevention https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/liver-cancer/risk-factors-and-prevention Accessed September 20, 2020

Liver Cancer – Prevention https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9418-liver-cancer/prevention Accessed September 20, 2020

Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer Prevention (PDQ®)–Patient Version https://www.cancer.gov/types/liver/patient/liver-prevention-pdq Accessed September 20, 2020

Liver Cancer https://www.preventcancer.org/education/preventable-cancers/liver-cancer/ Accessed September 20, 2020

 

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Written by Den Alibudbud Updated Sep 20, 2020
Medically reviewed by John Paul Ferolino Abrina, M.D.
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