What can I do?
Experts in Alberta agree that we can prevent about 56 out of 100 cases of liver cancer2. Here’s how:
About 27% of new cases are in people who have hepatitis B and about 16% are in people who have hepatitis C3. To learn more about hepatitis B or hepatitis C, go to myhealth.alberta.ca.
Hepatitis B vaccination is offered to all students in Grade 5. The vaccine has a success rate of 95% if all 3 doses are given. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
All women who are pregnant should see a health care provider before the baby is born. Health care providers make sure all pregnant women get tested for hepatitis B. If a woman has the virus, her baby can get shots to help prevent the infection from being passed along.
Other ways to avoid getting hepatitis B and hepatitis C include:
- use a condom when you have sex
- don't share needles
- wear latex or plastic gloves if you have to touch blood
- don't get a tattoo, or make sure that the needles used have been cleaned properly and are sterile
- don't share toothbrushes or razors
Tobacco smoking is linked to about 26% of new cases. Tobacco has cancer-causing toxins (called carcinogens) that damage liver cells. Over time, the damaged cells can turn into cancer. You can lower your risk for liver cancer when you quit using tobacco or cut down.
Drinking alcohol is linked to about 4% of new cases. When it comes to preventing cancer, there is no safe amount of alcohol. For people who choose to drink alcohol, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research recommend4 that men have no more than 2 drinks a day and women no more than 1 drink a day.