While there are no surefire ways to prevent the development of liver cancer, you can take several steps to reduce your risk:
- Avoid hepatitis infections. Chronic infection with hepatitis B or C is the most important risk factor for developing liver cancer. You can help prevent the spread of disease by taking measures such as using condoms and not sharing intravenous drug needles. You may also consider getting the hepatitis B vaccine. If you are infected with either of these viruses, make sure you are properly treated, which can reduce damage to the liver. Certain risk factors exist for hepatitis C, such as having used injected drugs, having received a blood transfusion before July 1992, and being born between 1945 and 1965. Ask your provider about being tested if you believe you are at higher risk of having hepatitis C.
- Curb your alcohol and tobacco consumption.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being obese puts you at higher risk for fatty liver disease and diabetes, which have been linked to an increased risk of liver cancer.