Liver cancer deaths ‘soaring’ due to alcohol and obesity

Following a 40% rise in deaths caused by liver cancer in a decade, a leading health charity has called for urgent action. 

The British Liver Trust Liver has revealed that liver cancer has become the fastest rising cause of cancer death in the UK. There are around 5,800 deaths per year caused by liver cancer in the UK, amounting to 16 per day.

The charity claims the rise in liver cancer deaths is due to obesity and alcohol. As a result, it has called for urgent action to lower the ‘carcinogenic effects’ of cheap alcohol and unhealthy food.

Pamela Healy, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said: ‘The key drivers for the increase in cases and deaths are alcohol and obesity.

‘Too many of us are drinking too much alcohol and are overweight. We urgently need government action on both issues.

‘Government interventions can create a healthier environment for everyone.

‘The government must urgently tackle the accessibility and abundance of unhealthy food which is often significantly cheaper.’

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Rising cases

This comes after the the government delayed implementing rules which banned supermarket multi-buy deals on foods high in fat, sugar or salt.

In addition, the British Liver Trust has submitted evidence to the parliamentary health and social care committee regarding the rising cases of liver cancer. This was part of the committee’s inquiry into future cancer care, including innovations in diagnosis and treatment.

The charity’s submission stated that liver disease is the biggest risk factor for developing liver cancer. Through lifestyle changes, such as reduced alcohol consumption and weight loss, liver disease can be prevented.

It also said there must be a greater focus on prevention, as well as early diagnosis and accesses to effective treatment.

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