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American Liver Foundation Urges Attention to Risk Factors for Liver Cancer

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(New York) – To combat the alarming rise in liver cancer deaths, the American Liver Foundation (ALF) – the nation’s largest patient advocacy organization for people with liver disease – announced the launch of its Are You at Risk? campaign to drive awareness of risk factors and increase early detection for patients at risk for liver cancer.

The campaign, conducted in partnership with Bayer and others, launches this week with the start of Liver Cancer Awareness Month, and will focus on six U.S. cities (New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco). The campaign educates the public on risk factors, the potential warning signs, the importance of screenings and regular visits to a physician. Throughout October, the campaign will spread the message through interactive banners, billboards and public transportation advertisements directing people to online resources for more information about liver cancer. A collaboration with Hep B Free San Francisco will enable this year’s campaign to also include Chinese language ads in that market.

“The urgency of breaking through with these messages has never been greater. The rate of liver cancer has increased at an alarming pace, and nothing is more important than at-risk populations being appropriately screened and detecting this disease early,” said Thomas F. Nealon III, chief executive officer of the American Liver Foundation. “Liver cancer is claiming the lives of 65 Americans every day, and we must put the brakes on that through greater awareness and education.”

In its fourth year, the Are You at Risk? campaign serves as a resource not only on liver cancer but for a variety of other diseases and risk factors such as hepatitis B or C, which can lead to liver cancer. While more people are surviving cancer, and overall cancer-related deaths have declined, liver cancer has become more common. In fact, rates have tripled in the past 36 years, rising nearly 3 percent per year since 2003. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 alone, 40,710 new cases will be diagnosed and an estimated 28,920 people will die from both liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer.

Liver cancer screenings and early detection can double the chance of survival, and the campaign is designed to increase awareness of liver cancer and its risk factors, which include chronic viral hepatitis, morbid obesity, diabetes, alcoholic cirrhosis and ethnicity. It also aims to expand the general public’s knowledge of lifestyle factors that contribute to the disease.

By 2035, it’s estimated that the number of diagnosed liver cancer cases in the U.S. will rise to nearly 40,000 each year - a 40 percent increase on current rates. Therefore, monitoring everyday lifestyle choices such as eating habits and alcohol consumption, among others, can play a major role in helping to prevent this deadly disease.

“Understanding the value of early detection has become vital in the fight against liver disease,” said Nealon. “Liver cancer can be difficult to detect in its earliest, most treatable stages, so it’s absolutely essential to be aware of liver cancer risk factors and what you can do to reduce your risks.” ALF is proud to recognize Bayer, the Campaign’s National Presenting Sponsor and Gilead,the Campaign’s National Platinum Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and The Estate of Bonnie McGiver in memory of William C. Green. About the American Liver Foundation Founded in 1976, the American Liver Foundation (ALF) is the nation’s largest patient advocacy organization for people with liver disease.

ALF reaches more than 2 million individuals each year with health information, education and support services via its national office, 16 U.S. divisions and an active online presence. Recognized as a trusted voice for liver disease patients, ALF also operates a national toll-free helpline (800-GO-LIVER), educates patients, policymakers and the public, and provides grants to early-career researchers to help find a cure for all liver diseases. ALF is celebrating more than 40 years of turning patients into survivors. For more information about ALF, please visit www.liverfoundation.org.

Page updated: October 13th, 2017

 

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