10 Symptoms of Liver Cancer & How to Reduce Your Risk
Cancer is still a major problem that claims millions of lives each year, and one of the least desirable places for its development is within the lifeline filter of your circulatory system. It’s likely that more than 30,000 people, mostly men, will be diagnosed with liver cancer in 2014. It can develop within the liver, but is most commonly spread to the organ from another place within the body.
Absorbing toxins and other foreign waste in the body is an inevitable part of daily life. It’s the unsung heroes that cleanse the inside of your body, which enable people to live worry-free, particularly the liver. While the liver is busy converting nutrients in your bloodstream, it is also sorting out all kinds of harmful waste that is of no use to the body — which is why most people consider it the second most important organ for survival.
Causes of Liver Cancer
The causes of primary liver cancer can be linked to biology, disease or bad habits. More than half of the people diagnosed with liver cancer have scarring in their liver, also known as cirrhosis, which causes liver cells to become damaged and die off. There are two main causes for cirrhosis:
- Frequent alcohol abuse can degrade the liver over time and kill off cells. When the liver attempts to repair this damage, it could lead to DNA mutations that kick start cancers.
- Chronic viral hepatitis, which is caused by the transmission of body fluids that lead to hepatitis B and C.
Alcoholism use is linked to several types of cancer in the mouth, throat, colon, breast and most commonly, the liver. If gone untreated and ignored, excess consumption of alcohol can lead to a heavily inflamed liver and cause exponential increases in cancer risk. Some studies also suggest that alcohol slows the body’s natural cell healing process, making other habits like smoking, which is also linked to liver cancer, even more dangerous and cancerous activities.
There are certain chemicals and herbicides that are also tied into cancer. Someone might experience them through exposure to pollutants, smoking, certain types of mold, pesticides and certain consumer products such as building materials and food packaging. The prolonged use of anabolic steroids in males has also been linked to several types of cancer.
Who is More Likely to Develop Liver Cancer?
There are plenty of risk factors determined by medical professionals through demographic research that show who is more likely to develop liver cancer.
- The first is your sex. Men are much more susceptible to liver cancer than women. Of the 33,190 new cases of liver cancer expected to be diagnosed in 2014, almost 75% of them will be men. There are yet to be any studies that reveal credible insight to this factor.
- Race can also play a role in your likeliness for liver cancer; it’s most commonly observed in Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans, Africans Countries with less developed medical treatments experience.
- Another major factor is age. The majority of liver cancer patients, around 95%, are diagnosed at the age of 45 or older. The most densely populated demographic of people with liver cancer is ages 65 and up.
- If you have diabetes, the risk of fatty liver disease can present a higher risk of developing liver cancer over time (if you are pre-diabetic,
- Metabolic diseases that are passed down genetically can put people at a higher risk.
- Sometimes rare diseases such as antitrypsin deficiency and Wilson’s disease are exclusively linked to liver cancer.
10 Symptoms of Liver Cancer
Liver cancer has an unfortunately late presence when it comes to symptoms. They tend to only reveal themselves once the cancer has developed into a more serious issue. Some of the symptoms are non-specific symptoms that can be seen with many other cancer types or other diseases, but if the changes are unexplained and persist, then go to your doctor to find the cause of it.
Here are ten of the earliest detection signs of liver cancer:
- Sudden weight loss without any physical effort or a change in diet
- Sharp pain within the abdomen
- Sudden lack of appetite and changes in dietary trends
- Persistently weak feeling muscles
- Swelling in the abdomen
- The discoloration of the skin, otherwise known as jaundice, and typically yellow in color
- Abnormal digestion and stool with white in it
- Persistent itching of the skin
- Bloated feelings after a meal
- Feelings of restlessness and tiresome days
How to Reduce Your Risk
As mentioned above, liver cancer is typically not obvious in someone until it has developed considerably. For this reason, the best form of defense is prevention. Consider some of the above-mentioned risk factors and narrow any that might occur within your life. Here are some helpful general guidelines to avoid risk factors.
– Reduce your risk of contracting hepatitis. You can do this by avoiding sex with people that haven’t been tested, wearing protection during intercourse, avoid injecting drugs and stay mindful around people who have hepatitis.
– It’s best for the body to cease all alcohol and tobacco use altogether, but a regulation routine is better than nothing. The serious risk for liver cancer comes when drinking or smoking becomes a daily crutch. If you are a smoker, find here 5 scientifically proven ways to quit smoking.
– A healthy diet and fitness routine will strengthen your immune system and make your body more apt to fighting off disease. It will also reduce your risk of obesity, which is commonly linked to liver cancer. You can also find here foods that protect against cancer development.
– If your workplace has industrial chemicals or any environmental carcinogens, make sure to take the proper protective measures. Instead of using chemicals, try to find natural alternatives.
– Families with a history of diseases that increase the risk of liver cancer should be screened regularly.
– As is with mostly any disease, liver cancer is the easiest to treat when it’s been detected in the early stages. Regular testing could make a medical struggle much easier, especially if the individual suspects they have any of the above-mentioned risk factors or symptoms.