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The relationships between fatty liver, cirrhosis and liver cancer

Are fatty liver, cirrhosis and liver cancer related to each other?Fatty liver, cirrhosis and liver cancer are conditions that are distinct from each other, but they are related in that fatty liver can result into cirrhosis while cirrhosis is an underlying cause of liver cancer.

Fatty liver refers to excessive accumulation of fat, specifically triglycerides, inside liver cells. The most common causes of this condition are alcoholism, obesity, diabetes mellitus and high blood triglyceride levels. Other less common causes are malnutrition, intake of certain drugs such as aspirin and steroids, and some rare hereditary disorders. These conditions presumably slow down the metabolism (i.e., breakdown, utilization and disposal) of fat, which results in its buildup within the body and its subsequent storage in liver cells.

Fatty liver is very often a benign condition that is reversible - the fat can disappear from the liver cells - if its causative agent (e.g., alcohol, diabetes, etc.) is eliminated. However, repeated injury to the liver by these agents, could lead to liver cirrhosis, an admittedly more serious disorder, that is why in fatty liver, it is important to identify and treat or eliminate the cause.

Cirrhosis refers to severe scarring of the liver that develops when the organ is subjected to chronic, repeated or sustained injury. When damaged, the liver is usually able to replace the cells that it has lost with new ones. But in cases of continuous or repeated insults, the organ's regenerative capacity is unable to cope and liver cells that are lost are replaced, not by liver cells but, by non-functioning scar tissue.

The most common cause of cirrhosis among Filipinos is chronic hepatitis B, a condition that afflicts between 10 to 12 percent of all Filipinos. Other causes of cirrhosis include hepatitis C and some of the underlying conditions in the development of fatty liver, notably alcoholism - the most common cause of cirrhosis in first world countries.

Cirrhosis is an irreversible condition, i.e., liver tissue that has been destroyed cannot be regenerated anymore. Furthermore, it is usually progressive, but its progress can be arrested or slowed down if the offending condition (e.g., alcohol intake) is stopped or controlled.

Severe cirrhosis gives rise to fatal complications such as liver insufficiency and obstruction of the flow of blood within the portal vein, which brings blood from the digestive tract to the liver. Cirrhosis also predisposes to the development of liver cancer. In fact, 80 percent of all liver cancers are preceded by cirrhosis.

Liver cancer, which refers to cancer that starts in the liver, is the eighth most common cancer worldwide but it has an uneven distribution. It is relatively rare in developed countries like the US but highly prevalent in underdeveloped ones such as the Philippines. Liver cancer is the third most common cancer among Filipinos, second most common in men and sixth in women.

Liver cancer is common in our country primarily because, as previously mentioned, chronic hepatitis B, which causes cirrhosis of the liver, afflicts between 10 to 12 percent of all Filipinos

Incidentally, aside from cirrhosis, the other important risk factors associated with liver cancer in the Philippines are certain toxic substances and chemicals such as aflatoxin and vinyl chloride (used in certain industries). Aflatoxin is produced by certain species of molds that grow in foodstuffs such as peanuts, corn, rice, dried fruits, spices, crude vegetable oils, cocoa beans, and copra. The high temperature and relative humidity that prevails in the Philippines, and the often improper storing, processing and handling of foodstuff make it conducive for the molds to grow and produce aflatoxin in our food products.

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I was infected with hepatitis C and then it developed to liver cirrhosis.I started to take YHK in 2006, after one week, my ALT and AST values began to decrease. In Dec, I stopped the injection treatment.YHK help me a lot..
I’m a liver cirrhosis patient. I was hospitalized three times within three years and the doctor told me that the prognosis was bad.Then my friend strongly recommended me to take YHK. After taking YHK, my liver function turned better, and the jaundice disappeared as well.
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