5 Ways to Avoid Liver Cancer

May 7th 2016

Liver cancer can significantly impair an individual's ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle and can ultimately lead to death. People who engage in unhealthy lifestyle habits increase their risks, so prevention is key.

Get Vaccinated

The hepatitis B vaccine is required for children entering school, but adults who have not been vaccinated can take precautions by getting vaccinated later in life. Hepatitis B infections are one of the major risk factors for the development of liver cancer. In some occupations, people can be exposed to the virus involuntarily. A vaccination can decrease the risks of an infection developing.

Quit Smoking

The harmful effects of smoking span beyond the risk of liver cancer. In fact, smoking has been linked with many other types of cancer, such as lung cancer. Individuals can decrease their risk of developing liver cancer by quitting this lifestyle habit as soon as possible. Even long-term smokers decrease their risk of developing liver and other types of cancer when they quit.

Avoid Excess Alcohol Intake

Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause damage to the liver and ultimately, a condition of cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver causes the organ to weaken, which reduces its ability to fight off infection. Individuals with cirrhosis of the liver are more susceptible to developing liver cancer. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation to decrease the risks of liver cancer and organ damage. Individuals who abuse alcohol can seek out treatment options to abstain from drinking.

Avoid Risky Lifestyle Habits

The hepatitis B and C viruses can be transmitted sexually if individuals do not practice safe sex. Individuals who have unprotected sex or engage in risky sexual behavior with multiple partners increase their risks of contracting forms of the hepatitis virus, which is connected to the development of liver cancer. In addition, drug users who share needles increase their risk of developing hepatitis C, which can lead to liver cancer. This harmful virus is transmitted through contaminated needles by IV drug users. People who are abusing drugs or engaging in unprotected sex should seek the care and advice of a health care professional to cease lifestyle habits that can lead to viral infections and liver cancer.

Communicate With Health Care Professionals

Some risk factors for liver cancer may not be preventable. For example, some studies suggest that some forms of liver cancer are genetic. Unfortunately, many symptoms of liver cancer do not appear until the late stages. Individuals who are aware of a family history of liver cancer should seek medical attention on a regular basis and make health care professionals aware of the genetic risk factors for the disease, as well as maintain healthy lifestyle habits to decrease the risk of developing liver cancer.

Conclusion

The most common cause of liver cancer is exposure to viral hepatitis, which is a condition that leads to an inflamed liver. Lifestyle habits often expose individuals to hepatitis A, B or C viruses. Individuals who are aware of the risk factors can take actions and precautions to decrease the risk of developing liver cancer.

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