October is full of frightening things like ghosts and goblins and presidential debates, oh my! But, one thing even more terrifying than all of that… LIVER CANCER! October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re here to discuss some pretty scary facts on liver disease, what can lead up to liver cancer, and what you can do about it before it’s too late.
Liver Disease Facts in the US
Liver disease rates have risen dramatically since 2009. In fact, most scientists are calling diseases like NAFLD and NASH epidemics! To put it into perspective, here are some statistics from the American Liver Foundation.
Alcohol-Related Liver Disease & Cirrhosis
- Approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related liver disease. 
- 90%-100% of heavy drinkers develop a fatty liver.
- Alcohol is second only to hepatitis C in causing liver cirrhosis. 
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/Non-Alcoholic Steato Hepatitis
- Approximately 100 million Americans are living with NAFLD.
- NAFLD affects about 30% of the US population
- NASH affects about 5% of the US population3
- Approximately 124,000 Americans die from liver cancer every year4.
- Risk factors for liver cancer include:
Yeah, That’s Scary; what Do We Do?
Yes, these statistics are horrifying. Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, not just in the US. Then with the top risk factor being cirrhosis, which is caused by a fatty liver, and fatty liver being an epidemic, it could seem like there’s no hope. But don’t give up! Did you know the liver is the only organ in the body that can totally regenerate? If caught early enough, liver disease can be managed and even reversed before liver cancer progresses.
Preventing liver cancer can be as easy as changing some lifestyle habits! The best prevention method is to reduce your risk of cirrhosis. One way to do this is by reducing your alcohol intake. If you choose to drink at, make sure to drink in moderation. That means two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Another way to reduce your cirrhosis risk is to maintain a healthy weight. Eating a healthy diet and exercising can do wonders for your liver and overall health!5
Don’t Forget About Research!
If you or a loved one live with NAFLD or NASH, research studies may offer access to potential new treatment options at no cost, no insurance required. There is no cure or FDA approved treatment for NASH, but with your help, we could be there soon! Click here [South Houston, North Houston, Lake Charles, McAllen] to sign up for more information, or call 281-918-0048 to find out how you can get involved.