Prevention

Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association

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Prevention

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Prevention

Cancer prevention is important because it can lower your chances of getting cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, HCC risk factors should be avoided. Increasing protective factors can help reduce the risk of cancer. 

Risk Factors

Risk factors of HCC include cirrhosis, excessive alcohol consumption, diabetes, aflatoxin B1, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, cigarette smoking, hepatitis B and C, obesity, and more.

Protective Factors

Protective factors that decrease the risk of HCC include:

  • Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV): HBV infection can be prevented with HBV vaccination. The vaccination series is administered to newborns and it has been shown to reduce the risk of liver cancer in children. Hepatitis B is a virus that causes an infection and inflammation of the liver
  • Treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection: Treatments for chronic HBV infection can reduce the risk of liver cancer. Interferon and nucleus(t)ide analog (NA) therapy are treatments for chronic HBV infection. 
  • Reduced exposure to aflatoxin B1: Eating foods with low levels of aflatoxin B1 can reduce the risk of liver cancer. Aflatoxin B1 is a poison from a fungus that grows on foods that are stored in hot and humid areas. 

Lifestyle Choices

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of liver cancer. 

  • Exercise regularly: Research shows that physical exercise can reduce the risk of developing liver cancer.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing liver cancer so it is essential to maintain a healthy weight through adequate exercise and nutrition. 
  • Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all): The recommended amount of alcohol for women is no more than one drink per day and no more than two drinks a day for men. Excessive drinking can cause permanent damage to the liver
  • Eat well: Eating a well-balanced diet will keep your liver function healthy. Foods high in saturated fat can cause cirrhosis

Sources: American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute © March 2022