Obesity and liver cancer

Liver cancer is perhaps one of the most dangerous and common forms of cancer. Proper functioning of the liver can be greatly affected by obesity and lead to fatty liver disease. Gone are the days when liver damage was associated with excessive consumption of alcohol. Recent experiments have proved that being overweight is a risk factor. Also known as NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease), its occurrence has risen over the years. Though this condition is essentially harmless, it becomes grave if transformed to non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

What is a fatty liver?

One of the major functions of a liver is breaking down the fats in the body. A fatty liver is one that accumulates fats. In case of overweight people, these fats remain in the liver instead of going out. As more and more fat is stored, it leads to inflammation and ultimately, liver cancer.

People who suffer from NASH feel normal and will not know of the effects till a long time. Over a period of time, scar tissues are developed in the body which may then cause cirrhosis and finally, liver cancer. One of the major forms of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma otherwise known as HCC. Obese people are more vulnerable to HCC as they produce tumor creating cytokines. Another augment in such people is insulin resistance by the body tissues. When this happens, there is a large amount of insulin which is not absorbed and this causes cancerous growth.

Checking the BMI (Body Mass Index) will let you know if you are in danger. A person who has a BMI of more than 25 is prone to HCC than the one who has a lesser BMI. Men who have BMI of 35 and above are susceptible to liver cancer. This cancer cannot be diagnosed in the early stages and usually, after the diagnosis, most of the patients die very early. Therefore, if you wish to stay away from this fatal disease, it is time to start working towards losing weight before it gets too late.

A fatty liver can be diagnosed easily and if you are overweight, this has to be done immediately. Men are more at risk that women when it comes to liver cancer. Be it any cancer, one has to suffer a lot. Liver cancer is all the more harmful and care should be taken to get rid of obesity.

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