Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) has launched 'Protect Yourself ', a campaign to raise awareness about liver cancer.
Liver cancer is the seventh most common cancer among men in Qatar, according to Qatar National Cancer registry 2015 at the Ministry of Public Health.
Liver cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the tissue of the liver (primary liver cancer) or abnormal cells that spread to the liver from other organs (metastatic liver cancer).
Nour Mekkia, health educator at QCS, said, “There are many risk factors that can increase the chances of developing liver cancer. It is more common among male than female. It is also more common in aged people as most people diagnosed with liver cancer are 55 and above. Alcohol and tobacco use are two major reasons for the disease. Viral hepatitis B&C can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. People with type 2 diabetes tend to be overweight or obese, which can lead to health problems in the liver. Occupational exposure to chemicals is another major reason for the disease.”
“Weight loss for unknown reasons, loss of appetite, feeling very full after a small meal, nausea or vomiting, general weakness and fatigue, pain in the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade, itching, white, chalky stools, yellowing of the skin and eyes and enlarged liver and spleen are the signs and symptoms of the disease,” she explained.
She stressed the importance of early detection of the disease. “It is often hard to find liver cancer early because the signs and symptoms often do not appear at an early stage. So, it is important to check with a doctor regularly,” she noted.
“Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption; maintain healthy body weight; be physically active (exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week); prevent infection with hepatitis B and C; get regular medical checkup and avoid breathing in or touching toxic chemicals. These can help prevent liver cancer to a great extent,” Mekkia added.