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Mexican-Americans at Higher Risk for Liver Cancer

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A study out of UCLA finds Mexican Americans to be more at risk for liver cancer than those living in Mexico.

Researchers looked at data of close to 15,000 individuals, 9000 of whom lived in Mexico, 2300 US born Mexican Americans and 2000 Mexican born individuals now living in the US.

Although liver cancer risk factors such as Hepatitis B and C were down, Mexican Americans were found to have an increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, and heavy alcohol use.

Risk factors of hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cancer, include:

Hepatitis B infection

Hepatitis C infection



Excessive alcohol use

Cirrhosis – scarring of the liver from alcohol, infection, or drugs

Iron storage diseases such as hemochromatosis.

Symptoms can include bloating, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, jaundice, weakness, fatigue,  and nausea and vomiting.

Screening for liver disease can be easy.  Life Line Screening offers the following  services here.

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This study suggests that habits adopted by Americans can not only increase their risk of obesity and diabetes but their cancer risk as well.


Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician