A recent study has revealed that alcohol consumption increases the risk of seven types of cancer in the body, including liver cancer. Liver is a vital organ that detoxifies the body from chemicals and metabolizes the drugs entering into the body. As a result, any harm to the liver leads to disruption of several other body functions. Often, liver cancer has the risk of spreading to other parts of the body as well.
Thus, while alcohol increases the risk of liver cancer, it can worsen the condition for people already suffering from, or those who are survivors of, liver cancer. However, on account of the damage that alcohol causes to the liver, it is advisable for a patient of liver cancer to stay away from the substance. Also, for patients yet to undergo liver cancer treatment, consuming alcohol diminishes the chances of recovery.
Effect of alcohol on liver
Alcohol scars the liver, which is known as cirrhosis, and leads to chronic liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver cancer. According to several studies, nearly, 32-45 percent of HCC in the U.S. and Italy is due to alcohol consumption. The studies further reveal that it is often cirrhosis that leads to liver cancer.
According to research, alcohol consumption causes oxidative stress in the liver, thereby forming reactive oxygen species. This further fragments the DNA. This is known as the genotoxic effect of alcohol which contributes to the process of hepatocarcinogenesis or liver cancer.
How alcohol leads to liver cancer
One of the greatest drawbacks of cancer is its chances of relapse. Recurrence of cancer, despite a successful treatment is quite possible, as the illness is almost always unpredictable. Alcohol acts as poison to the liver cells. Hence, the impact doubles in case the cells have already turned cancerous. Further, cancer or cirrhosis tends to clog and harden the liver cells and alcohol can worsen the situation. As a result, the liver may become overwhelmed which leads to disruptions such as the clogging of the bile duct due to which it enters the bloodstream. This causes conditions such as confusion, memory problems and loss of balance in the patient.
According to studies, alcohol also has the potential to diminish some important nutrients in the blood which help to fight cancer, thereby leading to the growth of cancer. Additionally, it also triggers the production of hormones that are often associated with cell and tumor growth.
For people undergoing chemotherapy, some experts believe, alcohol interferes with the treatment. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also a cause of concern during chemotherapy since the therapy itself causes significant dehydration in the patient. Further dehydration due to alcohol causes side-effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Damage of liver due to alcohol also reduces treatment options for people with cancer. For instance, the option for surgical removal of cancerous portion of the liver is overruled in cases where only a small part of the normally functioning liver is remaining. Additionally, the option for liver transplant is available only for patients who can abstain from alcohol post the transplant.
Road to recovery
Though the effect of alcohol on liver cancer depends on the drugs given to the patient, however, it is advisable to stay away from alcohol for people diagnosed with liver cancer, even after the treatment. Alcohol addiction is similar to any other kind of addiction and needs a dedicated treatment.
If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome alcoholism, get in touch with the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California for the treatments available at the alcohol rehab centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online to enquire about the reputed alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California. Our representatives will guide you to the best alcohol rehab centers in California.Continue reading