It’s time to take control of your liver health
World Liver Day which was commemorated on April 19 had two purposes. For patients and healthcare professionals who have been affected by liver diseases like hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), this is a time to reflect on the seriousness of these diseases and to emphasize the importance of self-awareness. on a health problem that often goes unnoticed. The day encourages people who may be at risk for liver disease to start a conversation with their doctor and loved ones about staying vigilant in preventing liver cancer.
John, a 70-year-old man from Nevada living with stage IV cirrhosis, is one of many advocates actively engaged in preventing the progression of his disease. As someone living with an increased risk of liver cancer, he believes “monitoring is the most important thing I can do” and he encourages others to take the same proactive approach in managing their liver health. Check out these tips for keeping your liver healthy.
1. Know your personal risk level
The liver is called the “silent organ” because the early stages of liver disease often have no noticeable symptoms. But according to the American Cancer Society, more than 800,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with liver cancer each year and many more remain at risk due to underlying chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis, fatty liver and hepatitis B or C.
2. Develop a liver care plan
A healthier liver means a healthier you. Eating a balanced diet and making balanced choices can go a long way in maintaining your liver health. Exercising regularly and following a regular schedule with your medications can all be helpful in reducing your overall risk. However, it is still important to keep an eye on what this level of risk is; Routine cancer surveillance tests can make a difference to your liver and your life.
3. Pay attention to your liver – test early and often
Early detection of cancer can be a key factor in beating it. In fact, according to Cancer Research UK, the 10-year survival rate for some cancers is over 90% for those diagnosed at Stage I, compared to 5% for those diagnosed at Stage IV. Unfortunately, less than half of all liver cancers in the United States are diagnosed early while the disease is still localized.
That’s why John is a regular at cancer surveillance. He knows that “if you catch liver cancer early, you have a better chance of curing it.” After all, John’s reasons for keeping his liver healthy go beyond his physical health. For him, managing his liver health means he can continue to care for his wife, who is battling her own health issues. By making liver monitoring part of his healthcare routine, he can be more there for his family when they need him most.
4. Be your own advocate and prioritize your health care
Standing up for yourself can be daunting, especially when it comes to proactively monitoring your liver. Start by preparing a list of questions or concerns you may have about your overall health and your liver. By making the most of your regular doctor’s appointments with clear, confident communication, you and your healthcare team can effectively create a personalized plan that works for you.
Additionally, liver monitoring is recommended every six months, which means prioritizing your health starts with getting to the appointment first. For some people, scheduling and making time to attend ultrasounds, the current method of monitoring liver disease, can be cumbersome to perform on a regular basis. Talk to your doctor about testing options that might be more effective and convenient for you.
5. Talk to your doctor about monitoring options
For people at high risk of developing liver cancer, simple blood tests such as HelioLiver may be an option for routine monitoring. The non-invasive test, performed during a standard exam, uses AI-based technology to provide highly sensitive analysis of a patient’s blood sample – no fasting, specialist appointments or long waiting times. waiting required. According to a recent clinical trial, HelioLiver can detect the presence of cancer earlier than other clinically available tests.
The saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm,” and being proactive about your liver health can make a difference and save a life. Even if you have no symptoms, you may urgently need routine monitoring. When liver cancer screening can be as simple as a simple blood test, the question becomes, “Why not?” rather than “Why me?” Talk to your doctor about whether routine liver cancer monitoring is right for you and learn more at HelioLiver.com.