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Non-drinkers are vulnerable to liver cancer, study finds

Category: Liver Diseases

Individuals suffering from cirrhosis of the liver who don't drink may want to consider having a cancer test, as a new study has found that this group of people has an increased risk of developing liver cancer.

The research team compared the incidences of liver cancer among non-drinkers who have developed liver damage from fat deposits to those suffering from hepatitis C, a common cause of liver cancer. The team found that both groups were equally likely to develop liver cancer.

The study notes that incidences of nonalcoholic liver damage have risen dramatically since the mid 1980s. This may be a result of rising obesity rates, which can produce fatty deposits in the liver that can impair the organ's function.

"Because these results identify novel immune-mediated mechanisms that contribute to fibrosis progression in [nonalcoholic cirrhosis], the findings have potential clinical implications for one of the most common types of chronic liver injury," said lead researcher Anna Mae Deihl.

Incidences of liver cancer have more than doubled since the mid 1980s, according to the report, and it is currently considered the third leading cause of cancer deaths.

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