Did you know that there are a lot of habits that can put you at higher risk of having liver cancer one day? From drinking lots and lots of alcohol to exposure to certain chemicals, your liver can end up with cancer if you’re not careful.
These habits are known as risk factors, which are things that can increase your chances of developing a certain disease. So in other words, the risk factors you will later on encounter in this article are those that can make you more susceptible to having to battle liver cancer, which can be very deadly if detected during its advanced stages. The truth is cancer of the liver during its early stages can go undetected, allowing it to worsen without your knowledge.
Just because you have one risk factor or several risk factors of liver cancer doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to brace yourself for having the disease. Actually, there are people who have the risk factors but are not suffering from liver cancer. Then there are those who have liver cancer but have very few risk factors or even none at all.
Here’s one very important thing you should know about the various risk factors of liver cancer: some of them you cannot do anything about, while many are completely avoidable. So in other words, you can actually have your risk factors of liver cancer reduced simply by making a few dietary and lifestyle changes.
Before we discuss risk factors of liver cancer that you can change, let’s first tackle the ones that you cannot change at all. Again, remember that just because you have one or more of the following risk factors of liver cancer doesn’t mean right away that you are bound to suffer from the big C that affects your liver:
Just like with many other types of cancer out there, liver cancer tends to affect older people. For instance, the onset of liver cancer in the US averages at 63 years of age.
Medical experts say that liver cancer is more commonly diagnosed in males than in females. It is believed that it’s mostly due to the dietary and lifestyle risk factors that a lot of males tend to have.
In the US, liver cancer is commonly seen in people who are Asian Americans as well as Pacific islanders. On the other hand, white Americans are less likely to have cancer of the liver.
Doctors say that you may be at risk of having liver cancer if a family member of yours has been diagnosed with it, most likely due to hereditary reasons or environment factors commonly shared.
Clearly, there is nothing you can do to steer clear of the above risk factors of liver cancer. However, there are also risk factors of the said type of cancer that you can change, and thus considerably lowering your risk of developing cancer of the liver in the future. These changeable risk factors of liver cancer include:
Too much alcohol
In moderation, alcohol actually offers a number of health benefits. In excessive amounts, on the other hand, your life can be put in peril because of the many ill effects alcoholism brings. One of the most serious problems that drinking lots and lots of alcohol can cause is liver cancer.
We all know that there are many health nightmares that may strike because of smoking. There are so many types of cancer linked to smoking, and one of them is the kind that affects the liver.
Being overweight or obese
According to medical experts, being overweight or obese can increase your likelihood of having liver disease, which can be attributed to the development of fatty liver disease. Besides, two of the risk factors of becoming overweight or obese — poor eating habits and leading a sedentary lifestyle — are also linked to cancer development.
Anabolic steroid use
Commonly employed by athletes and bodybuilders, anabolic steroids may be blamed for the development of cancer of the liver. This is especially true with long-term use of these synthetic steroid hormones for increasing both strength and muscle size.
Exposure to certain substances or chemicals
A certain type of fungus that contaminates rice, soybeans, corn, wheat and various types of nuts produces aflatoxins which are known to increase a person’s risk of having liver disease. Exposure to certain chemicals such as arsenic, vinyl chloride and thorium dioxide is also considered by medical professionals as a risk factor of liver cancer.
It’s also important to note that having cirrhosis of the liver can increase your risk of having liver cancer. Some common causes of such include alcohol and non-alcohol liver disease, and hepatitis B or C.