Thanks to events and campaigns that raise awareness, people know all about risk factors and prevention for common cancers like prostate and breast.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for liver cancer.
According to a report from the Canadian Cancer Society, liver cancer is one of the fastest rising of all cancers in Canada, yet most Canadians don’t know enough about it.
Liver cancer has tripled in Canadian men and doubled in Canadian women since 1970, according to the report. And, in 2013, it is estimated that there will be over 2,000 new cases of liver cancer.
The good news? It’s preventable.
The most important thing you can do to reduce your risk is get tested for hepatitis. Chronic hepatitis infections are the most common risk factors for liver cancer, but unfortunately, though about 600,000 Canadians are infected with hepatitis B or C, many people aren’t aware they have it.
It’s also important to cut down on heavy alcohol use, maintain a healthy weight and quit smoking.
‘It’s important to draw attention to the rising incidence and death rates for liver cancer so that we can tackle this important public health problem,’ Dr Prithwish De, epidemiologist with the Canadian Cancer Society, said in the report. ‘The good news is that liver cancer is largely preventable by modifying risk factors.’