The latest research from Cancer Research UK has reported that cases for primary liver cancer have apparently tripled. In 1975, the cases for primary liver cancer in Great Britain was apparently 865 but the latest analysis for 2006 reveals that it has increased to 3108.
Secondary or metastatic, liver cancer is involves a primary tumor spread from elsewhere in the body to the liver. It is claimed to be a somewhat common disease. But primary liver cancer originates from the liver. It was a rare disease in the UK until now.
Researchers have credited this growth to three things. Increase in alcohol consumption, obesity and hepatitis C are the factors supposedly responsible. These can lead to cirrhosis which in turn may develop into primary liver cancer.
Matt Seymour, Cancer Research UK’s professor of gastrointestinal cancer medicine at the University of Leeds commented “Three main risk factors for liver cirrhosis – alcohol, obesity and hepatitis C infection – are getting more common in the UK. So we are seeing more patients with cirrhosis and, in turn, more patients with primary liver cancer. This is likely to continue. There is a long delay between exposure to the risk factors and the onset of cancer. It might take between 20 and 40 years for liver cancer to develop after infection with hepatitis C. So even if new cases of infection stopped, the number of cases of cancer would continue to rise for some years.”
Adding to it, Dr. Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer information mentioned “While this increase is a concern, it is important for people to understand how their risk of liver cancer can be reduced by changes to lifestyle. Cutting down on alcohol and watching your weight will help to reduce the risk of a wide range of cancers including primary liver cancer. Taking plenty of exercise and eating a balanced diet high in fiber, fruit and vegetables and low in fatty foods, red and processed meat can all help towards keeping a healthy weight.”
A virus spread by blood to blood contact is Hepatitis C. In the 1960s and 1980s, due to medical use of contaminated blood products, the virus is contracted but now-a-days these no longer occur as a lot steps have been apparently taken to guarantee all blood products are completely safe. Due to intravenous drug users, the virus is spread these days. Another virus Hepatitis B is to blame for a small percentage of primary liver cancer in the UK. Worldwide it is known to be a common cause for primary liver cancer.
To better the treatment of primary liver cancer, Cancer Research UK claims to offer support to a number of research projects including clinical trials.