Paolo Boffetta – Liver Cancer and Its Link to Alcohol

Paolo Boffetta – Liver Cancer and Its Link to Alcohol

Liver cancer is a condition where the cells in your liver start to grow abnormally. It results from a sudden genetic mutation in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). This is the chemical substance that regulates protein production and the metabolic reaction within the cells. The abnormal cells begin to replicate at an alarmingly rate and attack the healthy ones. Soon they accumulate together to form a malignant tumor. It then disintegrates to spread to the other parts of the body, such as the colon, lungs, and breast. 

Paolo Boffetta – What are the common symptoms of liver cancer?

Dr. Paolo Boffetta is a popular epidemiologist from Italy who specializes in cancer research. He has many years of valuable experience under his belt and has made significant contributions to understanding how environmental, occupational, and dietary factors cause cancer. He held important positions in some of the most prominent cancer research institutes like the American Cancer Society, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the American Health Foundation throughout his illustrious career. He is also on the editorial board of several important medical journals like Biomarkers and Cancer Discovery. Currently, he is an Associate Director of the TischCancer Institute in New York.

Symptoms of liver cancer people should be aware of  

He says people suffering from liver cancer generally exhibit any one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden weight loss without going on a diet or exercising,
  • Feeling of nausea or vomiting,
  • Excruciating abdominal pain on the right side of their bodies,
  • A build-up of fluids in their abdomen,
  • Lack of appetite and a feeling of fullness after having a small meal, 
  • The eyes and skin turn yellow in color,
  • The liver grows out of proportion and can be felt on the right side of the bodies, and
  • An enlarged spleen can be felt on the left side of the bodies below the ribs.

What does alcohol do to your body in excess amounts?

Any kind of alcoholic beverage which enters your body turns into acetaldehyde. This chemical substance is an irritant to the cells which make up the liver, mouth, and throat. It absorbs most of the vital vitamins and nutrients one needs to remain healthy. These include folate, lutein, beta-carotene, and lycopene. As a result, the cells undergo a sudden genetic change in their DNA. They start to grow abnormally, attack healthy cells, and then accumulate to turn into a malignant tumor.

Other causes of liver cancer that can happen to some people 

 The other primary causes of liver cancer in most people are:

  • Genetic or hereditary reasons 
  • The side effects of chronic infections like Hepatitis B and C,
  • Cirrhosis is a condition resulting in scarring of the liver tissues, and
  • Hemochromatosis is a hereditary disease resulting in excessive amounts of iron in the liver. 

In the opinion of Dr. Paolo Boffetta sums up by saying liver cancer, once detected, can be treated. One should visit a good oncologist to get a comprehensive health check-up to determine the stage of cancer. Once the cancer stage is detected, the doctor can formulate a treatment plan for the patient accordingly.