It’s not exactly clear what exact factors contribute to someone’s chances of getting liver cancer. There are some statistically significant correlations, however, that give us an idea of what can increase your susceptibility to the disease. Because there aren’t many clear-cut answers about what causes liver cancer, the best way to prevent it is to limit the associated risk factors.
Having either hepatitis B and C can put you at a higher risk of getting liver cancer. The ways you can contract these viruses are through sexual activity with infected partners, sharing needles with an infected party, and blood transfusions that occurred before 1992. If you feel you may have hepatitis B or C, you should see a doctor to test for infection and be monitored for liver disease.
Your overall lifestyle and health can affect your susceptibility to liver cancer. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can increase your chances of developing liver cancer. For men, consuming more than two drinks on a daily basis can be considered excessive. For women, the recommended amount is one drink a day or less. Smoking is also a risk factor that should be avoided. Regular exercise and eating healthy play an important role in warding off liver cancer.
Aspergillus is considered to be another risk factor for liver cancer. It is a fungus that grows on certain foods that include cereal grains and legumes. When digested, aspergillus releases toxins that are related to liver cancer. Avoid eating these foods raw so you can avoid this fungus.
Cirrhosis of Liver
People who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver are at a greater risk for liver cancer and should be monitored carefully. Monitoring includes having multiple blood tests for high levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which has been linked to liver cancer. It is not always the case that one causes the other, but it is good for patients and doctors to be aware of such a connection. AFP is not the most reliable way to detect liver cancer or an increased risk of contracting the disease, because AFP levels typically don’t increase until the cancer has already spread throughout the body.
With these factors in mind, you can start working to decrease your chances of developing liver cancer. If you are at risk based on the factors mentioned, then consider undergoing regular ultrasound imaging to detect any symptoms before they become a greater hazard.
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