Metabolic Syndrome Increases The Incidence Of Liver Cancer
A team of researchers found that metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk for cardiovascular disorders and diabetes, seems to be related to liver cancer. This results are based on a study, which was applied to a large number of people and the result was that metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
The researchers found that metabolic syndrome was more common in patients who developed hepatocellular carcionoma (37.1%) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (29.7%) than in general population.
Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma have been rising world wide. Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus and alcohol consumption are recognized as risk factors for this types of cancer in industrialized nations. The exact cause of this types of cancer is not know and 20- 50% of all cases of liver cancer are idiopathic.
Although, intrahepatic colangiocarcinoma was associated with a number of the biliary tract or liver diseases, the exact risk factors for this type of cancer are not known, because many cases of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma appear to be unrelated to any of the known risk factors.
In general, the prognosis of liver cancer is quite bad. If it was diagnosed in early stages, survival at 5 years is about 30%, and if liver cancer was diagnosed in late stages, when are present metastasis to other organs, then the life expectancy to 5 years is approximately 5 -10%.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis have been associated with metabolic syndrome. The researchers highlight that, with the increased incidence of obesity and metabolic syndrome, worldwide, will increase the incidence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, that can evolve to cirrhosis and may also represent a risk factor for developing liver cancer.
Considering the high and increasing rates of obesity, of metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, this is a very important study because it shows that the rate of liver cancer is higher in patients with metabolic syndrome. This study is important for physicians, because they should be aware of these associations, because people with metabolic syndrome are not generally viewed as being at high risk for these type of cancers.