October is National Liver Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to learn more about liver disease and cancer.
Inflammation is an early sign of liver disease that points to the body fighting an infection or healing. Treatment at this stage can prevent worse problems.
Liver cancer is one of the deadliest kinds of cancer, and it’s one of the only cancers that’s on the rise. Hepatitis B or C virus (HBV or HCV) infections are the most common cause of liver cancer.
Liver cirrhosis has been tied to liver disease, cancer, and failure. Cirrhosis is when liver cells are damaged and replaced by scar tissue. It’s most often caused by alcohol abuse or HBV and HCV infections.
Another cause of cirrhosis that damages the liver is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is when fat builds up in the liver. Obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure and cholesterol can all cause this issue.
If not properly treated, liver disease can lead to liver failure, which is life-threatening. Doctors have to try to save what they can of the liver, or else a liver transplant would be required.
Unfortunately, there’s no standard screening to catch liver cancer early, although for people at higher risk, doctors sometimes use ultrasound exams.
Learn more about liver issues, find support, or help further research and treatment.