October is National Liver Cancer Awareness Month, so we have put together our top liver-related stories which include topics like obesity, NAFLD, diabetes, liver fibrosis, hepatitis C, and liver cirrhosis.

Liver cancer is usually not addressed as much as other types of cancer, but it is the fifth most common cancer worldwide.

What makes liver cancer unique is that the cause is more understood. A diseased liver can progress into liver cancer, so keeping your liver healthy can reduce your risk of cancer. The following articles will address the many issues surrounding the liver in order to better help you keep it healthy.

Additional evidence links obesity to liver cancer

Additional evidence has come to light linking obesity to liver cancer. The study found that a larger waistline, high body mass index, and type 2 diabetes increase a person’s risk for liver cancer.

Coauthor Peter Campbell said, “We found that each of these three factors was associated, robustly, with liver cancer risk.”

Rates of liver cancer have roughly tripled in the U.S. since the mid-1970s. Prognosis for this type of cancer is not very promising for patients.

The researchers examined data on 1.57 million adults from 14 American studies to uncover an association between obesity and liver cancer. None of the participants had cancer at the start of the study. Continue reading…

Broccoli may help protect against NAFLD and liver cancer: Study

Broccoli may help protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and liver cancer. Numerous studies have shown that consuming broccoli three to five times a week can reduce the risk of many different types of cancer. NAFLD has been associated with a high-calorie diet and an unhealthy diet full of sugar and fat. If progresses, NAFLD can lead to cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer.

Professor of nutrition Elizabeth Jeffery explained, “The normal story about broccoli and health is that it can protect against a number of different cancers. But nobody had looked at liver cancer. 

We decided that liver cancer needed to be studied particularly because of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. It is already in the literature that obesity enhances the risk for liver cancer and this is particularly true for men. They have almost a fivefold greater risk for liver cancer if they are obese.” Continue reading…

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes together may increase liver fibrosis risk: Study

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develops when fat accumulates in the liver. This can occur in individuals who don’t drink alcohol or who drink in moderation. In some people, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) causes no symptoms or complications. However, if it progresses, it can ultimately lead to liver failure.

If you’re diabetic you should also be concerned about your liver health. Diabetes can put a person at an increased risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The Mayo Clinic reports that at least half of diabetics with type 2 diabetes will develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Other contributing factors of non-alcoholic liver disease include being overweight, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Although diabetes may contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the association works the other way around, too, meaning NAFLD can lead to the diagnosis of diabetes. If diabetes is poorly managed, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can worsen. Continue reading…

Hepatitis C becoming number 1 infectious killer: CDC

Hepatitis C is becoming the number one infectious killer, according to the CDC. In the U.S. alone, hepatitis C-related deaths hit a high in 2014, and it presently kills more Americans than any other infectious disease. In 2014, there were 19,659 hepatitis C-related deaths.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin from the CDC said in a news release, “Why are so many Americans dying of this preventable, curable disease? Once hepatitis C testing and treatment are as routine as they are for high cholesterol and colon cancer, we will see people living the long, healthy lives they deserve.”

If hepatitis C is not treated, patients are at an increased risk of liver cancer along with other life-threatening diseases. Furthermore, patients can unknowingly infect others. Continue reading…

This daily beverage can really help your liver

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) estimated that 30 million Americans have some form of liver disease – that’s roughly one in 10 people. The ALF also states there are more than 100 different forms of liver disease. Similarly, within Canada, the country sees about 5,000 deaths annually linked to liver disease. Clearly, North Americans need to take care of their liver health.

It is commonly believed that alcohol is the liver’s biggest threat, but the ongoing research reveals hepatitis C and even fat are just as big of a problem. To aid the liver, and that is what prompted Canadian and U.S researchers to team up and find a potential solution. Continue reading…

This article originally appeared in the October 30, 2016 Bel Marra Health, and is reprinted with permission.