'Wine o'clock' lifestyle blamed for 'worrying' rise in liver cancer in last decade – The Telegraph

Alcohol and excess weight are two of the largest risk factors for the disease which has seen a 40 per cent increase in deaths
‘Wine o’clock’ has fuelled a 45 per cent rise in liver cancer cases over the last decade, data suggests. 
Charities expressed concern over the “worrying” rise, which has been accompanied by a 40 per cent rise in deaths. 
Alcohol and excess weight are two of the largest risk factors for the disease.
Separate data shows baby boomers – now in their 60s and 70s – are the most likely to be admitted to hospital for alcohol related diseases
The British Liver Trust said that a significant proportion of liver cancer cases in England are only being diagnosed when the cancer has become more advanced – making it harder to treat.
Its advisors warned that excess alcohol and weight are one of the biggest risks for the disease.
Professor Stephen Ryder, Medical Advisor to the British Liver Trust and Consultant Hepatologist at NHS Nottingham University Hospital, said: “The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce the risks. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding drinking alcohol excessively and protecting yourself against viral hepatitis are the best defences against both liver disease and liver cancer.” 
One in 14 cases of liver cancer in the UK are caused by drinking alcohol, research suggests. 
Prof Ryder said the cancer could also develop among those without the associated risk factors, advising anyone to seek medical advice if they seek symptoms that are persistent and not normal for them. 
While overall alcohol consumption has fallen in recent years, those in their 50s and 60s are now far more likely than younger people to drink regularly, and at levels higher than Government advice. 
Four in ten men and one in five women aged between 55 and 64 drink more than 14 units a week, data from NHS Digital shows. Among those aged between 25 and 34, just one in four men, and one in ten women drink this much.  
Separate NHS data shows that those aged between 65 and 74 – a generation of baby boomers, who were in their 20s and 30s during the 70s and 80s, as alcohol consumption rose – are now the most likely to be admitted to hospital for alcohol-related reasons
Meanwhile, obesity rates have risen sharply over the past decade, with more than 25 per cent of adults classed as obese, up from 19 per cent in 2011.
The disease remains far more common in men than women, with latest statistics showing 4,100 cases in men annually, and around 2,100 cases in women. 
Both groups have seen a steep rise in incidence, of 38 per cent in women, and 46 per cent among men, over the past decade, data from Cancer Research UK shows. 
The British Liver Trust has launched a new resource – Liver Cancer UK – to help those affected get the help and support they need.
Every year over 6,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer country-wide and just 13 per cent of them will survive for five years or more.
Many patients were only diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital or an emergency GP referral after symptoms have become severe and the cancer is more advanced.
In England, 45 per cent of liver cancers are diagnosed in an emergency setting, such as an A&E department, data shows. 
Professor Ryder said: “If you’re experiencing symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, a swollen stomach or yellowing of your skin and/or eyes, please don’t ignore them – make an appointment with your doctor to get them checked out,” he said. 
Pamela Healy, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Liver cancer patients have told us that they didn’t realise that the British Liver Trust was also here for liver cancer patients – they were often confused and worried and did not know where to turn for help.
“We’ve created new resources and a website with targeted information to make it easier for people to get the help they need.
“The new programme of activity is in response to the very worrying increase in cases across the UK.
“We’re also deeply concerned that survival rates for liver cancer remain so low – a situation which needs to urgently change.”
Symptoms of liver cancer include: weight loss; loss of appetite; feeling very full after eating; feeling and being sick; pain or swelling in your abdomen; jaundice; itchy skin; feeling very tired and weak; fever with shivers; vomiting blood; dark black “tarry” poo or dark urine.
The British Liver Trust said that many of these symptoms do not appear until the cancer is more advanced, and it is calling for people with cirrhosis, who are most at risk, to be regularly screened for liver cancer.
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