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Fatty liver disease linked to cancer risk
Category: Liver Diseases
The development of cirrhosis and liver failure are two of the most common concerns among people who have received unhealthy liver panel test results. However, new research suggests that people with fatty liver disease may also face a high risk of cancer, regardless of whether they have these other complications.
In presenting their findings at the International Liver Conference 2012, the researchers said their study could change the way doctors look at fatty liver disease and risk factors for cancer, according to Medscape.
Medical professionals often assume that excessive alcohol consumption is the lead risk factor for cancer, while a fatty liver may lead to cirrhosis. However, the majority of the study's participants did not abuse alcohol. Metabolic risk factors and fatty liver were the most problems associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
"The fact is that only very few of these patients develop their hepatocellular cancer in the absence of metabolic syndrome, so just 20 of 221 [participants], which is 9 percent, had no metabolic risk factor," said lead researcher Helen Reeves, according to the news source.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that about one-third of adults in the U.S. have fatty liver disease.
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