Posted in: Liver Cancer by Dr. Tarang Krishna
Cancer in liver is increasing. We don’t know the exact cause of liver cancer but there are some factors which might increase the risk of developing it. Cancer Healer Center lists some of the possible liver cancer catalysts. However, having any of these doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop cancer.
- Alcohol - Consuming more than a moderate amount of alcohol daily for many years can lead to irreversible liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer. People with a history of alcohol abuse have around 15% lifetime chance of developing liver cancer and it is frequently found that unexpectedly at autopsy in alcoholics who die from other causes. The risk increases with increasing alcohol use but only till a certain point. The severe alcoholics are not expected to live long enough to develop cancer and because of this, the risk actually rises after quitting drinking.
- Removal of gallbladder - People who have their gallbladder removed to get rid of the gallstones may have an increased risk of liver cancer. The risk may be increased due to raised pressure in the bile duct causing long term inflammation in the liver tissue.
- Aflatoxins - Aflatoxins are poisons produced by the molds which grow on crops that are stored poorly. Crops such as corn and peanuts have become contaminated with aflatoxins which can end up in foods made of these products. This by-products binds to the DNA of live cells and causes mutations which lead to cancer. This was the first discovery of how an environmental contaminant causes cancer to develop on the molecular level.
- Smoking - Smoking increases the risk of liver cancer. Research suggests that almost a quarter of liver cancer are caused by smoking. In smokers, who have hepatitis C or B virus infection, the risk is further increased. Children whose parents smoked before or during pregnancy have an increased risk of a very rare kind of liver cancer called hepatoblastoma.
- Diabetes and Weight - Diabetes and obesity lead to the development of a condition known as fatty liver and non-alcoholic steatorrhea hepatitis (NASH). This causes the accumulation of fatty acids within the liver cells which eventually cause liver damage. Over a 10 year period, this triples the risk of hepatoma and makes it much more likely that cancer will return after surgery.
- Low Immunity - HIV and AIDS lower the immunity. An overview of the individual studies showed that people with HIV or AIDS have a risk of liver cancer which is around 5 times higher than people who do not have HIV or AIDS. After the organ transplants, people have to take medicines to stop their body rejecting transplant. These medicines however lower the immunity and people who take them are at double the usual risk of liver cancer. The increased risk of cancer in people with low immunity may be because they are less likely to clear the hepatitis B or C infection.
- Hepatitis B : This DNA virus is the most common cause of liver cancer worldwide, responsible for most cases of hepatoma in geographic areas where it is a very common cancer. Many people gets infected with the virus at a young age and 15% are unable to clear the virus from the systems even after proper liver cancer treatment. This makes them ‘chronic carriers’ which increases the risk of developing hepatoma 200 times higher than normal. Along with the steady and repeated destruction of the liver cells, the virus transforms some of the DNA into the human liver cells and this helps initiate the process of transforming to a cancer cell.
Treatment of liver cancer is however possible for most cases at Cancer Healer Center. As far as the causes are concerned, there might be things you have heard of that are not included here. This is because either there is no evidence about them or it is less clear.