A Complete Guide to Liver Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention

Updated on 25 September 2019

One of the most vital internal organs of the human body, liver acts as a toxin filter and facilitates the digestion of food besides carrying out more than 500 vital functions. It is an integral part of the digestive system and helps expedite the synthesis of proteins.

Shape, Size and Position of Liver

Your liver is a football-sized, reddish-brown organ which rests beneath your diaphragm. Its shape resembles that of a wedge.

Liver Cancer

When the healthy cells in the body start multiplying in an uncontrollable manner, a cluster of cells i.e. a tumour is formed. This tumour can be of two types, namely malignant/ cancerous and benign. While a benign tumour can’t spread to other parts of the body, a malignant/cancerous tumour can. Developing in the cells of the liver, liver cancer is of various types including is hepatocellular carcinoma, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma. In hepatocellular carcinoma, various growth patterns are observed. It is also one of the most common liver cancer types developing in the major liver cell known as hepatocyte. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma are less common liver cancer types. It is important to note that cancer that reaches the liver is far more common than cancer that emerges in the cells of the liver. Cancers like colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer etc. may spread to the liver and compromise its health. Cancers which spread from their origin point to other parts of the body are known as metastatic cancers.

Risk Factors And Prevention For Liver Cancer

Risk factors enhance your chances of getting cancer. Below-mentioned is the list of risk factors for liver cancer. Have a look:

  • If you are suffering from cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), your chances of developing liver cancer automatically increase. The main cause of cirrhosis is alcohol abuse besides hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis (excess of iron in the body) etc.
  • Another important risk factor for liver cancer is obesity. If a person is obese, fat starts accumulating in his/her liver as well which, in turn, causes NAFLD.
  • Majorly affecting the liver, viral hepatitis (B and C) also acts as a major risk factor for liver cancer.
  • People who are of the age 60 years or above are at a greater risk of developing liver cancer. Also, as compared to men, women are less likely to get liver cancer.

Other than the aforementioned risk factors, certain environmental factors also enhance the risk of liver cancer.

How To Prevent Liver Cancer?

There are no set ways to completely prevent liver cancer. However, by following certain measures, the risk can be lowered.

  • One of the ways to lower the risk of liver cancer is by preventing chronic viral hepatitis (B&C). HCV virus spreads from one person to another in a variety of ways including sharing the infected needles (during the drug intake or in the hospitals), having unprotected sex etc.
  • By preventing drug abuse, one can reduce the risk of cirrhosis which is basically scarring of the liver. Consequently, liver cancer can also be prevented. Moreover, it is also good to cut your smoking.
  • Cancer-causing chemicals like aflatoxins increase the risk of liver cancer. So it’s best to avoid these chemicals.  

Moreover, by understanding prevention of liver cancer, symptoms and treatment options, one can significantly impede the furtherance of the ailment from the best liver cancer hospital.





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