Abou-Alfa GK, Jarnigan W, Dika IE, D’Angelica M, Lowery M, Brown K, et al. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and donors. … This is the biggest known risk factor for primary liver cancer in Australia. Some of these risk factors affect the DNA of cells in the liver, which can result in abnormal cell growth and may cause cancers to form. Imagine a world free from cancer. Liver cancer happens when liver cells build variations in their DNA, the material that gives the commands for every chemical process in your body. Cancers can be caused by DNA changes (mutations) that turn on oncogenes or turn off tumor suppressor genes. Certain chemicals that cause liver cancer, such as aflatoxins, are known to damage the DNA in liver cells. For instance, if an individual has chronic infection with the hepatitis viruses then that can cause liver cancer. However, there are many other causes including cancer. Hepatitis B and C and hemochromatosis can cause permanent damage and liver failure. Damage to the TP53 gene can lead to increased growth of abnormal cells and formation of cancers. It's important to get any symptoms of liver cancer checked by a GP. You can help reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. More than half of all people diagnosed with primary liver cancer have cirrhosis -- a scarring condition of the liver commonly caused by alcohol abuse. The American Cancer Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Close menu. According to the ACS, chronic infections with hepatitis B or C viruses are the most common causes of liver cancer in the U.S. People with either type of … Liver cancer happens when liver cells develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. In some patients, the virus's DNA can insert itself into a liver cell's DNA, where it may turn on the cell's oncogenes. Cancers can be caused by DNA changes (mutations) that turn on oncogenes or turn off tumor suppressor genes. Common Causes of Liver Cancer Although there is no direct cause of liver cancer per say; there are a number of common risk factors that are linked to the development of liver cancer, including: Age—liver cancer most often strikes those 67-years of age or older. Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing. Our team of expert journalists brings you all angles of the cancer story – from breaking news and survivor stories to in-depth insights into cutting-edge research. It helps you digest your food and removes toxins. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. wear protective clothes and masks if you work in a job where you're exposed to harmful chemicals, try to cut down on alcohol – avoid drinking more than 14 units a week. Several different genes usually need to have changes for a cell to become cancerous. There are some risk factors though. Page last reviewed: 6 May 2020 Many liver cancers are also linked to your lifestyle. This causes water to leak into the tissues around the region. Patients with delirium will often experience changes in sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating or amnesia. Primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) tends to occur in livers damaged by birth defects, alcohol abuse, or chronic infection with diseases such as hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis (a hereditary disease associated with too much iron in the liver), and cirrhosis. DNA is the chemical in our cells that carries our genes which control how our cells function. Anyone can get liver cancer, even if you do not think you have a higher chance of getting it. Certain chemicals that cause liver cancer, such as aflatoxins, are known to damage the DNA in liver cells. Anyone can get primary liver cancer. The American Cancer Society couldn’t do what we do without the support of our partners. You might be more likely to get it if you: Secondary liver cancer is caused by cancer cells from a cancer somewhere else in the body spreading to the liver. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks, Common Questions About the COVID-19 Outbreak, Genes that help cells to grow and divide and stay alive are called, Genes that keep cell division under control, repair mistakes in DNA, or cause cells to die at the right time are called. When cancer develops in the liver, it destroys liver cells and interferes with the ability of the liver to function normally. Jaundice Other liver cancer symptoms and signs Accessed March 12, 2019. We look like our parents because they are the source of our DNA. There is some evidence that betel quid, even without the tobacco causes liver cancer.