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World Cancer Day: Prevent liver cell cancer with regular liver value checks
On the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4th, the German Liver Foundation calls for regular monitoring of liver values. Around 50,000 people die from liver cirrhosis and around 8,000 from liver cell cancer in Germany every year. Serious damage can be avoided by timely detection. There are now promising therapies for liver inflammation (hepatitis) in particular. A distinction must be made here between the acute and the chronic form.
Chronic hepatitis is when the inflammation persists for more than six months. Viruses, especially hepatitis viruses A, B and C, are often the cause of inflammation. Recently, fatty liver disease, coupled with a metabolic disorder and diabetes as a trigger for this disease, has been found to be increasing.
Liver rarely hurts The treacherous thing is that the liver rarely hurts when it is sick and complete healing is difficult if there is no timely treatment. A liver cirrhosis, for example, can develop from a hepatitis virus infection, which in turn can lead to liver cell cancer, according to a press release from the institute. However, if you have your liver values tested regularly by your family doctor, you can see early whether the values are elevated and whether you have liver disease. Symptoms such as the yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), severe pain in the upper abdomen, vomiting and great tiredness usually only occur in particularly severe cases and only a fraction of those affected therefore seek medical attention.
"If liver values are regularly tested and liver diseases that could lead to liver cell cancer are identified and treated in good time, liver cell cancer does not have to occur," says Prof. Dr. Michael P. Manns, Chairman of the Board of the German Liver Foundation. There has been an increase in liver cell cancer in Germany for years. Toxins such as alcohol and medication can put so much strain on the liver that it becomes inflamed and, if left untreated, leads to cell cancer.
Alcoholic cirrhosis and fatty liver cirrhosis are increasingly involved in the development. This is also a consequence of the increasing numbers of overweight adolescents. Overall, an unhealthy lifestyle, poor nutrition and too little exercise can be identified as reasons for liver diseases in adolescents. Liver cirrhosis and liver cell cancer are expected to increase in the next few years because many patients before 1990 contracted hepatitis B or C, which has so far not been recognized and has therefore not been treated. With chronic inflammation of the liver, if it is not treated, liver cirrhosis can develop within 20 to 30 years. The German Liver Foundation offers information and advice for those affected and their families, as well as for doctors and pharmacists in medical matters. Interested parties can find out more on the Internet. (fr)