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Category: Liver Diseases
Hepatits C infection and obesity are increasingly becoming major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the Mayo Clinic. Individuals with either of these conditions may benefit from liver panel testing to assess the condition of their liver.
For years, alcoholic cirrhosis was the leading cause of the type of scarring the often leads to liver cancer. However, after examining previously collected patient data, the Mayo Clinic researchers found that hepatitis C infection and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is a common result of obesity, are now among the leading causes of liver damage.
The researchers said their findings may help explain why rates of hepatocelluar carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, have increased so much over the last few decades. The number of people suffering from alcohol-related cirrhosis has likely remained steady, but increases in the obesity rate and the rising tide of hepatitis infection may make liver cancer more common.
The damage associated with this type of cancer can be spotted relatively early through liver panel testing. Individuals who have hepatitis C or are obese may benefit from considering the procedure to find out if they are at risk.
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