Increased Risk of Liver Cancer

When there is an increased chance of developing liver cancer, it is important to identify the underlying cause of this risk and reduce it by improving the underlying condition as much as one can. Enhancing liver health in general would be expected to reduce the risk also.

 


Risk factors for Increased Risk of Liver Cancer

Metabolic  

Hemochromatosis (Iron overload)

Once a person’s liver iron concentration reaches 400 mmol/gm (dry weight), cirrhosis is common and the risk of liver cancer and death is increased.



Organ Health  

Cirrhosis of the Liver

When a patient develops cirrhosis, the chance of liver cancer rises sharply (25 to 40 times higher than normal) and in a very advanced stage the liver is no longer able to function.



 

Hepatitis

A history of infection with the hepatitis B virus puts individuals at risk of developing heptoma.



Symptoms - Cancer  

History of liver cancer




Increased Risk of Liver Cancer can lead to

Risks  



Recommendations for Increased Risk of Liver Cancer

Amino Acid / Protein  

L-Carnitine

The study was published on March 21, 2009 in World Journal of Gastroenterology. A research group in King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia investigated, for the first time, the role of carnitine, a naturally occurring compound that is synthesized mainly in the liver, during the development of hepatocarcinogenesis. Authors of the study reported that carnitine deficiency is a risk factor and should be viewed as a mechanism in hepatic carcinogenesis, and that long-term L-carnitine supplementation prevents the development of liver cancer. Therefore, carnitine supplementation alone or in combination with other natural chemopreventive compounds could be used to prevent, slow or reverse the occurrence of liver cancer.



Botanical  

Picrorhiza (Picrorhiza kurroa)

Picrorhiza has been shown to reduce formation of liver cancer due to chemical exposures in animal studies. [Jeena KJ, Joy KL, Kuttan R. Effect of Emblica officinalis, Phyllanthus amarus and Picrorrhiza [sic] kurroa on N-nitrosodiethylamine induced hepatocardinogenesis. Cancer Lett 1999;136: pp.11-6]



Hormone  


Lab Tests/Rule-Outs  


 


Mineral  


Key

Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
May do some good
Highly recommended

Glossary

Cancer

Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Iron

An essential mineral. Prevents anemia: as a constituent of hemoglobin, transports oxygen throughout the body. Virtually all of the oxygen used by cells in the life process are brought to the cells by the hemoglobin of red blood cells. Iron is a small but most vital, component of the hemoglobin in 20,000 billion red blood cells, of which 115 million are formed every minute. Heme iron (from meat) is absorbed 10 times more readily than the ferrous or ferric form.

Gram

(gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.

Cirrhosis

A long-term disease in which the liver becomes covered with fiber-like tissue. This causes the liver tissue to break down and become filled with fat. All functions of the liver then decrease, including the production of glucose, processing drugs and alcohol, and vitamin absorption. Stomach and bowel function, and the making of hormones are also affected.

Hepatitis B

A serious viral infection with the potential for long term consequences. It is caused by a DNA virus that has been found in virtually all body secretions and excretions. However, only blood, saliva, semen and vaginal fluids have been shown to be infectious. Transmission occurs through sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact (blood products, needle sharing, etc.), and from infected mother to infant. Virtually all affected infants and children, and many adults, receive a lesser, even symptom-free, infection. Symptoms, when present, tend to be more severe and prolonged than those for Hepatitis A: initially flu-like, with malaise, fatigue, muscle pain and chest pain on the right side. This is followed by jaundice (slight skin yellowing), anorexia, nausea, fatigue, pale stools, dark urine and tender liver enlargement, but usually no fever.

Virus

Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.

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