6 Things you Should know about Liver Cancer
Malignant tumors that begin within the cells of the liver are called liver cancers, which may spread to distant cells at a later stage. This type of cancer is severe in its form and is a cause of several deaths worldwide. Its incidence is on a rise in the United States, yet, the rate of occurrence is not as high as that in other nations. It has been determined that liver cancer more commonly occur in men than in women, so, men are at a greater risk of occurrence.
Things you must know about the cancer of the liver
Certain races have a greater risk of liver cancer
This is a common finding with several types of cancer. It is not sure what possibly causes it, perhaps the changes in the genetic material, but, liver cancer is more common among certain races. These include individuals belong to Asian Americans’ and Pacific Islanders’ communities. So, if you belong to these races, you must try to minimise the other risk factors to prevent the occurrence of liver cancer.
Obesity and heavy alcoholism increase the risk of liver cancer
It has been perceived that individuals with a higher BMI, particularly those who are heavy alcoholics are at a greater risk of developing liver cancer than individuals with a normal BMI. This is because obesity and alcohol abuse, both, can lead to fatty liver disease or cause cirrhosis of the liver. These disorders have been well-recognized as the risk factors for liver cancer, which defines the mechanism of this occurrence. So, minimizing these factors can go a long way in protecting you from liver cancer.
Unprotected sexual activity can cause liver cancer
The most common and widely acceptable risk factor for liver cancer is an infection with the hepatitis virus, which undeniably spreads through the sexual route. Hepatitis B is quite frequently known to spread by this route and a chronic infection or a chronic state of hepatitis infection is a considerable risk factor for liver cancer. By preventing unprotected sex and by being aware of the sexual history of your partner, you can lower your risk of liver cancer.
Intravenous drug users may be at a risk of liver cancer
Sexual route is not the only known mode of transmission of hepatitis infection. Hepatitis C virus rather more commonly spreads via blood to blood contact, which can occur through needle sharing, as seen in intravenous drug users. Keeping away from this habit can prevent hepatitis C infection and even liver cancer.
Liver cancer is preventable
Quite sure you were able to guess this one by now. Liver cancer can be prevented by minimising the risk factors, which as you may see, are mostly avoidable. Maintaining a decent weight with the help of a healthy diet plan and inclusion of appropriate exercises can help in preventing obesity. If you are already overweight, calorie restriction and an increase in physical activity can help. To lose weight, it is also essential that you prevent the consumption of deep fried foods and fast foods, which are loaded with trans fats.
Further, to prevent liver cancer, a change in your lifestyle is imperative. Limiting alcohol intake and avoiding the use of can help reduce your risk of liver cancer. Lifestyle changes must also include the practice of safe sex with the help of barrier devices like condoms, avoidance of multiple sexual partners and undergoing regular health check-ups. Prevention of the practice of needle sharing through intravenous drug use is equally important for the prevention hepatitis C infection and then liver cancer.
If you are exposed to blood and body fluids at workplace, it is recommended to get vaccinated against the virus. This will help in reducing your risk of liver cancer.
Other ways in which you can modulate your risk of liver cancer is by improving your diet. The consumption of a healthy and balanced diet, which is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, will help in improving your body’s immune response. This will help to enhance your body’s abilities to fight off infections and will function to lower your risk.
Contaminated water can increase your risk of liver cancer and so can some inherited diseases
High levels of arsenic in drinking water can increase your risk of developing liver cancer. Most countries already have regulations to prevent contamination of grains and drinking water with arsenic. However, if you live in a remote place and are not sure about the quality of water in your area, it is recommended to run a test to determine the toxic content of water in your area.
Coming on to family disorders, there are certain inherited disorders, which may be passed down from families. Some of these may have a role in the causation of liver cancer. These disorders include hemochromatosis, which is marked by excess iron stores. In order to reduce your risk of liver cancer, you must get yourself treated at the earliest and also get regular health check-ups. It is also important to get yourself screened if anyone in your family is affected with this condition.