Many liver cancers could be prevented by reducing exposure to known risk factors for the disease:
- Avoiding Hepatitis Infections – The most significant risk factor is chronic hepatitis B and C infection. These factors can be avoided by not sharing needles and performing safe sexual practices. There is already a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B for people at risk. But, there is still no vaccine for the prevention of hepatitis C. People at high risk for hepatitis B or C should be tested for these infections and treated if necessary.
- Limiting Alcohol and CigaretteUse – Alcohol abuse is a major cause of cirrhosis, which can lead to liver cancer. The prevention of tumors related to excessive alcohol consumption remains a challenge. Quitting smoking can also slightly lower your risk, as well as many other potentially life-threatening illnesses.
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight – Avoiding obesity can be another way to help protect yourself from liver cancer. Obese people are more likelyto have fatty liver (fatty liver) and diabetes, diseases that have been linked to liver cancer.
- Limiting Exposure to Carcinogenic Chemicals – Changing the way certain grains are stored in tropical and subtropical countries could reduce exposure to cancer-causing substances, such as aflatoxins. Most developed countries have regulations to protect consumers and workers from certain chemicals known to cause liver cancer.
- Treating Diseases that Increase the Risk – Certain inherited diseasescan cause liver cirrhosis, increasing the risk of liver cancer. Diagnosing and treating these diseases early can decrease this risk. For example, all children from families with hemochromatosis should be screened for the disease and treated, if necessary.