About 20 percent of Taiwanese with liver cancer also have a diagnosis of fatty liver disease or alcoholic liver disease, Taiwan Cancer Registry data showed.
One in four people worldwide have fatty liver disease, while the incidence rate in Taiwan ranges between 11.4 percent and 41 percent, reports released by the National Health Research Institutes showed.
The main causes of fatty liver disease are high cholesterol and ineffective diabetes self-management, which are often related to being overweight and drinking too much alcohol.
The WHO defines being overweight as a chronic condition, and people who are overweight for a long period are more likely to be diagnosed with fatty liver disease and to experience diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, gout and osteoarthritis — and at almost twice the frequency of those with a healthy weight, Health Promotion Administration Cancer Prevention and Control Division Director Lin Li-ju (林莉茹) said on Friday.
Fatty liver disease results when excess fat causes inflammation in the liver, said Hsu Shu-ting (許舒淳), a doctor in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Section of Cathay General Hospital in Taipei.
Although it does not sound like a serious condition, persistent inflammation increases a person’s chance of developing cirrhosis or liver cancer by 10 to 20 percent, so it should not be ignored, she said.
“People living a modern lifestyle are busy at work and lack exercise. They often eat out and take sugary drinks with their meals, which significantly increases their likelihood of developing liver cancer,” Hsu said.
“Drinking too much alcohol will likely lead to alcoholic liver disease, which puts people at a higher risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer — at a much greater incidence rate than those with fatty liver disease,” she said.
A fatty liver does not have obvious signs — those with a fatty liver who experience pain or fatigue might already have severe inflammation or a tumor — so regular medical examinations are needed, she added.
“Most people should have an annual checkup, but someone with advanced fatty liver disease and severe inflammation should go every six months,” Hsu said.
No drugs effectively treat fatty liver disease, Lin said.
Those with the condition should engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, she said, adding that aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce the fat level in the liver.
“It is important to have a balanced diet — to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain and multigrain foods, while avoiding sweets, refined foods, foods high in salt and oil, and processed foods,” Lin said, adding that a fatty liver and fibrosis of the liver greatly improve from a 5 to 10 percent reduction in body weight.
In 2017, 11,225 people in Taiwan were diagnosed with liver cancer and 8,402 people died of it, the Health Promotion Administration said, adding that by preventing or treating a fatty liver, people can effectively reduce their risk of liver cancer.
SCANDAL: There are still discussions over whether a ban from being coaches, referees or agents should be imposed on the players, the association said The Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), Taiwan’s basketball governing body, on Tuesday said that it has handed lifetime bans to 10 players accused of game-fixing and breaches of betting rules. In a statement on Tuesday, the CTBA said it has revoked the registration of nine former players from the semi-professional Super Basketball League’s (SBL) Yulon Lexgen Dinos and one from the Taiwan Beer Leopards of the professional T1 League. The nine former Dinos players are Ko Min-hao (柯旻豪), Chiu Chung-po (邱忠博), Chen Pin-chuan (陳品銓), Huang Hsuan-min (黃鉉閔), Wu Yu-jen (吳祐任), Chou Wei-chen (周暐宸), Yen Wen-tso (顏聞佐), Lee Chi-en (李其恩), and Senegalese center
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted