Researchers found that for every two inches added to the waistline, there was an eight percent increased risk for developing liver cancer. Other well-known live cancer risk factors include having hepatitis A, hepatitis B or excessive alcohol intake.

Lower liver cancer risk

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Liver cancer is a tough cancer, and its incidences in the U.S. have tripled since the 1970s. About 21,000 men and 8,000 women are diagnosed each year, and almost 25,000 will die from this deadly cancer.

The liver is the largest organ in the body, and it is so important in its many roles. The liver stores nutrients, removes waste products, and it filters and processes chemicals in food, alcohol and medications. It also makes bile to help with fat digestion.

Researchers from the American Cancer Society looked closely at data from 14 U.S. studies that included 1.5 million adults who did not have cancer at the start of the studies.

People who developed type 2 diabetes had a higher risk of developing liver cancer. In fact, they were 2.6 times more likely! Another factor in their live cancer risk is that many folks who do have type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese.

The researchers also found that for every two inches added to the waistline, there was an eight percent increased risk for developing liver cancer. Other well-known live cancer risk factors include having hepatitis A, hepatitis B or excessive alcohol intake.

The symptoms of liver cancer are somewhat benign: 

  • Feeling discomfort in your mid-section
  • A swollen belly
  • Experiencing pain in the back or near your right shoulder blade
  • Feeling very tired
  • Having nausea and vomiting

The best suggestion is to work on liver cancer prevention which includes two reminders from this current study:

  • Lose weight and then maintain that leaner weight
  • Prevent type 2 diabetes if you are at risk (family history or obese)

If you have type 2 diabetes, keep it well-managed with a good A1c under 7.0. Also reduce your alcohol intake, of course.

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.