Liver cancer is a multifactorial disease; its occurrence is not attributed to one factor. The most common factors that may increase your risk of becoming a victim of liver cancer include:
- Being male – men are about three times more affected by liver cancer than women.
- Age – in North America, Europe and Australia, the diagnosis of liver cancer is frequently posed among people aged 63 years or more; in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, however, the disease tends to affect people aged between 20 and 50 years old.
- Liver disease – any chronic liver disease that is linked to excessive consumption of alcohol, hepatitis viruses B and C can lead to development of liver cancer.
- Obesity – being obese or overweight increase the chance of having many types of cancer, including liver cancer.
- Diabetes – studies have shown a higher risk of liver cancer among diabetic people than those who are not diabetics.
- Hemochromatosis – this is a hematological disease characterized by excessive absorption of iron by the intestine causing its accumulation in certain tissues and organs; having hemochromatosis put you at higher risk of liver cancer. In addition, if you suffer from autoimmune hepatitis or Wilson’s disease, you have an increased risk of liver cancer.
- Alcohol – if you consume daily for many years a large quantity of alcohol, you not only increase your risk of liver cirrhosis but also liver cancer.
- Cirrhosis – liver cancer develops most often in liver affected by cirrhosis.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – any fatty inflammation of the liver, even when is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption, can foster the development of cancer cells in the liver gland.