- Hepatitis risk reduction: Individuals who take steps to protect themselves from hepatitis B and C, cirrhosis and other liver diseases can also lessen their chances of developing liver cancer. For instance, the hepatitis B vaccine provides more than 90 percent protection for hepatitis B; while there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, not engaging in unprotected sex or using intravenous drugs (or, if this is not possible, to sterilize needles before use) can help protect against this disease.
- Limiting alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can increase a person’s chances of developing liver cancer, particularly if the individual has a close relative with cancer.
- Limiting liver-metabolized medications: These include over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and many prescription drugs. In addition, it is a good idea to avoid mixing acetaminophen and alcohol.
- Reducing exposure to chemicals: Chemical toxins are metabolized in the liver, so individuals who work with chemicals, such as hairdressers, printers and painters, need to follow safety guidelines to avoid exposure.
- Exercise and weight control: Regular exercise and maintaining a proper weight can reduce a person’s liver cancer risk.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking increases the risk of cancer.
- Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains is important to a person’s health and can help decrease the chances of liver cancer.
- Vitamin and mineral intake: Calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folic acid in particular can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, including liver cancer.
Prevention of Liver Cancer
There are a few things individuals can do to reduce their chance of developing liver cancer. These include: