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6 simple ways to prevent liver cancer

Limit alcohol, don’t smoke, exercise regularly, get vaccinated and screen for liver cancer to help prevent this disease.

In 2020, Vietnam has nearly 26,420 new cases of liver cancer, accounting for 14.5% according to statistics of the Global Cancer Organization (Globocan). Compared to 2018, the number of new cases of liver cancer in Vietnam increased by more than 1,080 cases and was the highest among common cancers.

The liver performs functions that up to now no artificial organ can completely replace the liver. Therefore, people should take care of their liver and take measures to prevent liver cancer early. Here are simple things you can do to reduce your risk.

Periodic liver examination and vaccination against disease

Physical examination, liver function test is a good way to detect disease early. If you are in the group of subjects at high risk of liver cancer such as patients with hepatitis B, C, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc., they should be screened for liver cancer periodically at least once every 3-6 months. Tests to evaluate liver function to screen for hepatitis B and C virus infection help to screen for liver cancer. In addition, the doctor may prescribe other methods such as quantitative AFP, DCP (PIVKA-II), liver tumor screening through ultrasound, abdominal CT or MRI…

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), up to 80% of patients with liver cancer develop from hepatitis B and 5% from hepatitis C virus. Therefore, to protect the liver, Everyone should get the hepatitis B vaccine, on schedule and with the recommended number of shots.

Limit alcohol, quit smoking

According to Dr. Le Van Diem (Department of General Surgery – Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi), when alcohol enters the body, only about 10% of alcohol is eliminated through urine, sweat and breath, 90% of alcohol is eliminated through urine, sweat and breath. The rest will be metabolized and detoxified in the liver. If you drink too much alcohol, the liver does not produce enough detoxification enzymes, which will cause the alcohol to stagnate in the body, triggering overactive kupffer cells, producing many inflammatory substances that are harmful to the body. . This damages liver cells and causes dangerous diseases such as fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis, even liver cancer.

Dr. Diem added that there is no safe threshold for drinking alcohol, so it should be minimized. If drinking, men should not exceed two units of alcohol a day, one alcohol a day for women. One unit of alcohol is equivalent to 3/4 of a 330 ml can of beer (5%); a 100 ml glass of wine (13.5%) or a 30 ml cup of spirits (40%).

Drinking a lot of alcohol increases the burden on the liver.  Photo: Shutterstock

Drinking a lot of alcohol increases the burden on the liver. Image: Shutterstock

Tobacco smoke contains nicotine and more than 3,800 other harmful chemicals. When smoking, the concentration of nicotine and toxins in the blood will increase, at this time the liver must work harder to eliminate toxins, more susceptible to damage. The chemicals produced when smoking are strong oxidizing agents leading to lipid peroxidation. This causes stellate cells in the liver to be activated, potentially causing cirrhosis.

Smoking also increases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that damage liver cells, weakening liver function, and developing cirrhosis. The arsenic in cigarette smoke also increases the risk of liver cancer. Therefore, giving up smoking, staying away from tobacco smoke is one of the ways to prevent liver cancer.

Choose clean, clear food

Dr. Diem added that harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, molds, residues of pesticides, antibiotics, weight gainers, preservatives… from food, when entering the body, will attack liver cells and activate kupffer cells to release inflammatory substances such as TNF-α, TGF-β, interleukin, keukotriene… They damage liver cells, causing liver damage, leading to many diseases liver disease, including liver cancer.

You need to stay away from moldy dishes because they contain aflatoxin, which causes liver cancer. Foods that contain a lot of salt, such as pickles, should also be limited because they contain high amounts of nitrosamines, which have a high carcinogenic potential. Oil and grease for a long time produce the chemical MDA, which can create polymers that react with proteins and DNA in the body, causing mutations in protein structure, causing cells to mutate into cancer cells. Protein-rich foods are also not good for the liver, especially red meat protein. To prevent liver cancer, you should consume meats in moderation.

Foods with anti-cancer properties such as green tea, black tea, onions, red onions, dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, potatoes, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, olive oil, pure coffee .. . should also be in the diet. Research by Karolinska Institutet, Sweden shows that a day eating from 200 grams of vegetables will help reduce the risk of liver cancer.

Studies in Japan and Germany show that using herbs such as Wasabia and S. Marianum helps to reduce over 50% of inflammatory substances TNF-α, TGF-β and Interleukin, thereby limiting inflammation and damage. liver, which contributes to preventing the production of fibrous tissue that causes fibrosis.

Regular exercise and sports

By page Fox Newspeople who regularly exercise have a reduced risk of 13 cancers compared with sedentary people, including liver cancer (up to 27%).

Regular exercise and sports contribute to cancer prevention.  Photo: Shutterstock

Regular exercise and sports contribute to cancer prevention. Image: Shutterstock

Specifically, during physical training, the metabolic rate increases, the cells receive more oxygen and nutrition from the blood. Exercise also promotes the absorption of protein and carbohydrates 4 times faster than usual. As a result, weight is controlled, helping to prevent fatty liver disease, improved mood, deeper and better sleep. Some exercises help support liver function such as walking, cycling, swimming, weight training, yoga…

Xuan Diem

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