Strive to Prevent Liver Cancer

October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month

October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month, which is a great reminder for us to examine our own lifestyles. Every year, about 24,500 men and 10,000 women are diagnosed with the disease. The good news is that there are several ways that you can help to prevent liver cancer. Set aside some time this month to examine your lifestyle and make changes that you see fit.

Know Signs and Symptoms

First off, it’s important to avoid and treat Hepatitis B and C infections. These diseases are passed from person to person through unsterilized needles, unprotected sex and even through childbirth. Most people get vaccinated to prevent themselves from contracting these diseases, but some people are more at risk than others.

Being mindful of the risk of liver cancer is very important, as this disease is often hard to discover until it’s already in its late stages.

People who are most at-risk for liver cancer are those who have cirrhosis, hereditary hemochromatosis, and chronic Hepatitis B. It is typically recommended that this group of people undergo screening for liver cancer with alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood tests and ultrasounds every six months. Getting these regular screenings has been linked to a higher survival rate.

Be Mindful of Your Lifestyle

Here are some other things that you can do to prevent liver cancer:

Limit alcohol consumption
Avoid smoking
Maintain a healthy weight
Limit exposure to cancer-causing chemicals
Be aware of and treat illnesses that increase liver cancer risk