The country’s leading liver charity has called for government intervention to address the strong link between poverty and liver cancer.
A new report by the British Liver Trust shows that liver cancer is rising dramatically across the country, particularly in areas of economic deprivation.
Every year, 803 men and 371 women living in the most deprived areas of England are diagnosed with liver cancer. This is 50% higher than the rate for men (402) and 58% higher for women (156) living in the least deprived areas.
- Spotting early liver disease in primary care
- NAFLD and its link with Type 2 diabetes
- Health inequalities and childhood obesity
‘Poverty can lead to a higher risk of liver cancer,’ Pamela Healy, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust told Independent Nurse.
‘There is a higher incidence of risk factors in areas of socio-economic deprivation, including chronic hepatitis b or c infection and liver cirrhosis, which is often from alcohol abuse, malnutrition, obesity and diabetes. These are well established causes of liver disease and cancer, especially Hepatocellular Carcinoma,’ she said.
With liver cancer mortality rates being highest in the most deprived regions, particularly in the north of England, the charity has called upon the Government to take more urgent action to regulate accessibility and affordability of unhealthy food and alcohol, improve surveillance and early diagnosis within high-risk groups and address health inequalities.
‘Addressing the links between poverty and cancer risk is a multifaceted approach, which includes improving access to healthcare, nutrition education, public health campaigns and socio-economic support to reduce risk behaviours,’ said Ms. Healy.
‘The sharp rise in liver cancer is a preventable tragedy. As a nation we really must reduce health disparities and promote early detection and intervention.’