Possible Causes of Liver Cancer

By  , Expert Content
Jan 19, 2013

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The liver is made up of different types of cells. The cells of the liver grow and divide in a controlled way to produce new cells needed to replace the old and dead cells to keep the organ healthy. Damage to the DNA (the material that provides instructions for every chemical process in all the cells and tissues of the body) causes loss of division of the cells in a controlled way. If more cells than needed are formed due to loss of control the extra cells form liver cancer. Cancer cells have the ability to spread to healthy part of the liver and other parts of the body. These cells spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.


[Read: How to Diagnose for Liver Cancer]


The exact cause of liver cancer is not known in most cases but in some the cause can be identified such as chronic infection with hepatitis B and C viruses. However certain factors increase the risk of liver cancer in a person, and these risk factors for liver cancer include:

  • chronic liver infection with hepatitis b or hepatitis c virus.
  • eating foods contaminated with aflatoxin
  • male sex
  • family history of liver cancer
  • cirrhosis of liver due to any cause (such as alcohol abuse, certain drugs and other chemicals, and infection with certain viruses or parasites). Liver cancer develops in approximately 5 percent of people with cirrhosis.


[Read: Symptoms of Cirrhosis]


Presence of risk factor does not mean that you will develop the disease it just indicates you are more likely to develop liver cancer as compared to the general population. The risk of liver cancer is higher if you have more than one risk factor as they may act together to increase the risk even more. A person with known risk factors for liver cancer may not develop the disease whereas many people with no risk factors develop liver cancer. Research scientists are currently trying to search for the exact cause of liver cancer.


Read more articles on Liver Cancer



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