A: Is it possible to get diagnosed with liver cancer even if you’ve never smoked or consumed alcohol? How can liver cancer be prevented?


Q:  It is said that liver cancer is a generic condition, as it involves both a disease originating in the liver (primary) and a disease originating from other organs and involving the liver (secondary). Then, there are benign tumors that while they might not be recognized through the same gravity as the other two, in some cases they still require surgical treatment (type of adenoma, focal nodular hyperplasia and angioma). Hepatitis B or C, hemochromatosis, biliary cirrhosis, metabolic syndrome with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver (alcoholism) instead represent risk factors for the development of the most common primary liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma. There is a second type of primary tumor whose epidemiology has changed recently, involving an increase in number of cases: cholangiocarcinoma. This tumor’s risk factors are less recognized so to speak and involve the presence of liver stones (intrahepatic lithiasis), parasitosis, sclerosing cholangitis, biliary cirrhosis, etc.  Some reports support their association with smoking or with common risk factors such as Hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatitis C virus infection and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and metabolic syndrome. For secondary tumors, it is necessary to refer to the risk factors of the cancer from which they originated. For benign tumors, the only risk factor, which is the use of oral contraceptives in young women, is still being discussed for both adenoma and focal nodular hyperplasia. These tumors have recently been associated with patients receiving prolonged chemotherapeutic therapies.