How to prevent Liver Cancer

By  , Expert Content
Jan 19, 2013

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How can one prevent Liver CancerCurrently there is no cure for liver cancer and the response to treatment is guarded. The exact cause of liver cancer is not known but there are several factors which increase the risk of liver cancer. Measures to reduce the risk factors of liver cancer can possibly prevent you from developing this deadly cancer.


[Read: What are the possible Causes for Liver Cancer?]


Reduce your risk of cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is a progressive and irreversible disease which affects the liver and increases your risk of developing liver cancer. Cirrhosis can be caused due several reasons such as alcohol abuse, certain drugs and other chemicals, and infection with certain viruses or parasites. You can reduce your risk of cirrhosis a common risk factor for liver cancer by limiting alcohol intake (a common cause of liver cirrhosis), avoiding drugs which damage the liver.

Limit alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption daily for many years can cause cirrhosis, so limit your alcohol intake. Women should not take more than one drink a day and men no more than two drinks a day.

Maintain a healthy weight: As research suggests that a higher body mass index increases a person’s risk of liver cancer, hence try to remain at a healthy weight. If you are obese/overweight try to reach your healthy weight by doing exercises and eating healthy.

Get vaccinated against hepatitis B: Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the most important risk factor for liver cancer. Vaccination with hepatitis B in a person who is not already infected with hepatitis B virus can prevent chronic hepatitis B infection and may protect against liver cancer. Hepatitis B vaccine is very effective and provides more than 90 per cent protection from hepatitis B infection in both adults and children.


[Read: What is Hepatitis B?]


Take measures to prevent hepatitis C: Currently there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. So take measures to protect yourself from hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C infection is transmitted through sexual route, intravenous (IV) drug use, contaminated needles. So avoid unprotected sex unless you are certain that your partner isn't infected with HBV, HCV or any other sexually transmitted disease. Don't use intravenous (IV) drugs (if you have to use it ensure the needle is sterile), never share needles with anybody. If you want to get tattoo ensure the needles they use are sterile and meant for single use.


[Read: What is Hepatitis C?]


Know more about liver cancer screening: Liver cancer screening is not recommended for the general population. But if you have risk factors for liver cancer consult your doctor regularly to detect the cancer at an early stage as it can improve prognosis and life expectancy. Your doctor can advise if you need to be screened regularly for liver cancer.According to some experts liver cancer screening is recommended for people at high risk for developing this cancer, including people who have:


  • cirrhosis of liver due to autoimmune disease or excessive alcohol use
  • hepatitis c infection
  • hemochromatosis (a condition that affects the liver)
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • hepatitis B infection and one or more of the following : Asian male more than 40 years of age, Asian female more than 50 years of age, African person older than 20; liver cirrhosis; or family history of liver cancer.


Read more articles on Liver Cancer


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