Liver Cancer – Life Saving Information

Since the year 2000, the death rate for liver cancer has surged by 43 percent. Men are twice as likely to die from liver cancer as women. Liver cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer death globally. When we look at 5-year survival statistics, fewer people in the USA are dying from cancer in general. The opposite is true for liver cancer. More people than ever are dying from the disease. These statistics come from a new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and has commented on these statistics. He cited fatty liver (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH) due to obesity and/or diabetes as the most important risk factor for primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). If your liver is fatty, it means there is too much inflammation inside. If liver cells are chronically inflamed, they are at greater risk of becoming cancerous.

The obesity epidemic is increasing, with a forecasted rate between 40% and 50% by 2030.

What are the causes of liver cancer?

  • Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) increases your risk of liver cancer.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Diabetes will cause a greater risk of liver cancer
  • Cirrhosis of the liver increases your risk of developing liver cancer.
  • Inherited liver diseases – such as hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease which are easily treated.
  • Exposure to aflatoxins which are toxins produced by moulds that grow on crops that are stored poorly. Crops such as corn and peanuts can become contaminated with aflatoxins, which can end up in foods made of these products. Never eat mouldy nuts and grains.
  • Excess consumption of alcohol

Liver cancer can start in the bile ducts inside your liver or gallbladder. This is more likely to occur in people with long standing gallbladder inflammation or an overgrowth of bad bugs in the gut.

Early diagnosis of liver cancer can lead to cure, via surgery, radiofrequency ablation of a tumor, or liver transplant. The importance of continued screening should be stressed to patients with hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus.

Find out if you have a fatty liver. Ask your doctor for a blood test for liver function and an ultrasound scan of your liver. In the vast majority of cases, fatty liver can be reversed. I’ve written detailed information on how to do that in my book called Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It. You need to follow a lower carbohydrate diet and take the right herbs and nutrients to repair and regenerate the liver. I have formulated Livatone Plus with the clinically effective dose of St Mary’s thistle, plus other supportive nutrients to reduce inflammation in the liver.  Glutathione is a powerful detoxifier and anti-inflammatory agent produced in your body. It is brilliant for reducing liver inflammation. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is the building block of glutathione and helps to raise your blood level of this important molecule. NAC can be taken in capsule form.

Make sure you have a healthy gallbladder and you manufacture healthy bile. Liver cancer can start inside the bile ducts. Don’t just ignore a gallbladder condition. Ox bile is very beneficial for improving the quality of your bile. It helps to make the bile thinner, so it flows more freely. It also helps to reduce gallstones and biliary sludge. Ox bile can be taken in capsule form

You may be insulin resistant. The majority of people with a fatty liver are. If you have elevated blood levels of insulin, this instructs your liver to manufacture fat. It also predisposes you to type 2 diabetes. Berberine is a very effective natural supplement for reversing insulin resistance, stimulates weight loss and reduces fatty liver.

Selenium helps protect against liver cancer. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that people with higher blood levels of selenium are less likely to develop liver cancer. Most of you know that Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium. However, this largely depends on whether the soil they were grown in was high in selenium. Most parts of the world are experiencing declining selenium soil levels. That means it’s hard to get enough of this essential mineral through diet. Prof. Dr. Lutz Schomburg of the Institute of Experimental Endocrinology said, “According to our data, the third of the population with lowest selenium status have a five- to ten-fold increased risk of developing liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).” That’s a 5 to 10-fold increased risk! That means increasing your selenium intake can offer significant protection against this typically fatal type of cancer.

A healthy diet and lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk of liver cancer, even if you have a chronic viral infection (such as hepatitis B or C) of the liver. Early diagnosis of liver disease enables treatment that can prevent liver cancer. Avoid smoking and excess alcohol intake. If you are fighting liver cancer the following supplements will help your own immune system to fight the cancer and slow down its growth. They will also reduce the chances that the liver cancer will spread.

The most important nutrients to prevent cancer

The most important nutrients to prevent cancer include -

  • Selenium
  • Vitamin D 3
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K 2
  • Turmeric (curcumin
  • N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)

Consider intravenous infusions of glutathione and vitamin C to quickly boost your immune defences.

Vitamin K2 reduces invasion of human liver cancer cells

Vitamin K2 may be a promising therapeutic treatment for the management of liver cancer. Cancers which originate in the liver are called primary liver cancers and are known as Hepatic Cellular Carcinoma or HCC.

A study examined the mechanisms of the retardation of liver cancer cell growth induced by MK-4, which is a form of vitamin K2. The results were very positive; the rates of venous invasion by liver cancer cells in the vitamin K–treated group were 2% at 1 year and 13% at 2 years; the rates were 21% at 1 year and 55% at 2 years in the control group.

Oral administration of vitamin K2 was shown to reduce the ability of liver cancer cells to invade and spread via the veins in the liver (portal venous system).

This study was reported in the journal Hepatology and produced results which suggest that high-dose vitamin K2 treatment can function as an inhibitor of primary liver cancer (HCC) cell growth.

Vitamin K 2 has no known adult human toxicity, which makes orally administered vitamin K2 a very promising treatment for keeping tumours inactive. More clinical trials are in progress to evaluate vitamin K2 in patients with primary liver cancer. Future trials may determine the efficacy of vitamin K2 for other types of cancer.

Liver cancer - Looking to the future

Primary liver cancer (HCC) has a very high rate of recurring in the liver which gives it a poor prognosis. To improve the outcome for patients with HCC, the development of a preventive compound that can reduce or delay the incidence of recurrence is a critical issue that demands urgent research.

To this end a compound called Acyclic Retinoid (ACR) was studied as a preventative. ACR is a synthetic retinoid, which successfully improves HCC patient survival rates by preventing the recurrence and formation of new liver tumours.

ACR is also expected to prevent the development of liver cancer in obese people with fatty liver, who are at an increased risk of liver cancer.

Screening programs using new tests have enabled the early detection of liver cancer in patients with chronic liver disease and has increased the number of candidates for local treatments such as liver resection and percutaneous ablation therapy. It is disappointing that very few patients undergoing such local treatments can be cured and the overall results of these treatments are still unsatisfactory, mostly because of post-treatment recurrence.

Side effects of ACR were mild and none of the usual toxicities of retinoids, such as dry skin, dry and cracked lips or conjunctivitis, were observed in this trial.

Among preventative treatments, the oral administration of ACR may be the most promising approach because of its availability and non-invasiveness.

Don’t forget that high dose vitamin K can reduce the spread of liver cancer.