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Who's at Risk for Liver Cancer?

Your liver is the largest solid organ in your body. It also plays several important roles, including helping your body get rid of toxins, maintain your metabolism, and fight infection. As a critical part of your body, you want to do what you can to keep your liver healthy.

Fortunately, when you’re informed about liver cancer risk factors, you can take steps to avoid choices that would increase your likelihood of developing this type of cancer.

At Vascular & Interventional Associates in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, our team of expert providers doesn’t just treat liver cancer. We also want to help our patients throughout northern Kentucky and in Cincinnati, Ohio, support their liver health. Here’s a look at some of the risk factors for liver cancer.

Diabetes 

Type 2 diabetes can more than double your risk for liver cancer. The good news is that you can avoid Type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise. And if you have diabetes, it may even be possible to reverse it with healthy lifestyle choices. 

Hepatitis

Because hepatitis is inflammation in your liver, it makes sense that it plays a role in your long-term liver health. Hepatitis B and C both increase your risk for liver cancer. 

You can take steps to avoid these viral infections.

For starters, vaccinations are available to defend against hepatitis B. While no vaccine exists for hepatitis C, you can take preventive action by practicing safe sex and never sharing needles.

Excess alcohol use

Alcohol strains your liver. Over the years, drinking too much increases your risk of liver cancer.

Excessive alcohol consumption isn’t just a risk factor on its own. It also exposes you to other conditions, like cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis occurs when liver disease progresses to the point that your liver replaces healthy tissue with scar tissue, inhibiting the liver’s ability to function properly. 

Ultimately, moderating your alcohol consumption is a key part of keeping your liver healthy. Generally, that means one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. 

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

While drinking too much heightens your risk for liver disease, including cirrhosis and cancer, some people develop liver problems even without drinking too much. Medical experts group these conditions under the name non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Researchers don’t yet know precisely what causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but studies have linked both being overweight and diabetes to this condition. As a result, a healthy lifestyle may help you avoid this liver condition — and liver cancer.

Ultimately, moderating your alcohol intake, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly can go a long way toward reducing your risk of liver cancer. If you want to learn more, or if you need liver cancer treatment, don’t wait to call our team at Vascular & Interventional Associates. You can also request your appointment online today.

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