The World Cancer Research Fund performed an extensive global study that involved the analysis of 34 different liver cancer studies, which included the information of 8.2 million people. The researchers found that there were two specific factors that accounted for at least one-fourth of all liver cancer cases. So, what two things can you do to significantly lower your risk of liver cancer?
The Daily Mail reports that the World Cancer Research Fund focused on one particular lifestyle habit that could “significantly” increase your risk of liver cancer which is daily alcohol consumption. Researchers found that just two drinks a day for women and three drinks a day for men is enough to cause liver cancer. In fact, Amanda McLean, director of WCRF UK, notes that until this extensive study, researchers were not able to pinpoint an exact amount of alcohol that could cause liver cancer. However, with the latest study complete, researchers are now confident in their recommendation to limit daily alcohol intake to under three drinks per day.
“Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer. Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer. But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough to be more specific.”
It isn’t just alcohol that plays a large role in liver cancer risk, body weight was also found to be a strong indicator of liver cancer risk. WCRF says that people could cut their risk of getting liver cancer by one-fourth simply by maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting alcohol consumption to under three drinks per day.
“The report estimates that nearly a quarter of cases could be prevented if people kept a healthy weight and did not drink.”
Though alcohol in combination with being overweight can increase your risk of liver cancer, it is important to understand that even with an increase in overall risk, the chances of getting liver cancer are still very slim. Liver cancer is a rare form of cancer that affects just one in 100 men and one in 200 women. Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor of the public understanding of risk, says that though alcohol consumption can increase the risk of liver cancer, the risk increase is really only significant for those who already drink heavily and start to drink even more.
“Liver cancer is rare: about one in 100 men and one in 200 women get it. So if you already drink a lot, and then drink even more, your risk goes up a small amount.”
If you want to cut your chances of getting liver cancer even further, add coffee to your daily regime. Daily coffee consumption, though a specific amount was not specified, was shown in the WCRF study to decrease an individual’s liver cancer risk. Therefore, if you want to lower your risk of liver cancer, keeping a healthy body weight along with limiting alcohol consumption and consuming coffee daily seem to be your best bet.
Would you decrease your alcohol consumption to lower your risk of rare liver cancer?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Justin Sullivan]