Common liver diseases are hepatitis, liver cancer and biliary diseases. Talking about hepatitis, we should emphasize that there are two types of this disease: acute and chronic hepatitis. Acute means that the disease is new and has just started, while the term chronic refers to the disease which lasts for more than 6 months.
Acute hepatitis is common disease, affecting 1 out of every 4.000 people in developed countries. Numbers are much higher in developing countries of the world, where 1 our of 800 people suffers from this disease. The disease is caused by the virus which leads to inflammation of the liver and subsequent damage and destruction of liver cells.
Hepatoma or liver cancer is also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This disease is also very common liver disease and may develop as a consequence of hepatitis B. Other diseases and conditions that can provoke liver cirrhosis are also likely to cause this medical condition, including hepatitis C and alcohol abuse. Many patients remain undetected with this type of cancer until it reaches advanced stages. Patients usually discover this condition after complaining about abdominal pain. Liver cancer may be related to liver cirrhosis or to some other cancer in the body which has spread to this organ. Cancer of the large intestine is found to be frequent when it comes to spread to the liver.
Congenital disorder known as biliary atresia is characterized by either absence or closure of bile ducts. It affects infants and the condition progresses very quickly, causing damage and scaring in the liver and may induce liver cirrhosis.
Proper hygiene is one of the best methods to prevent the spread of viral hepatitis. There are also vaccines for hepatitis B, available as routine vaccines for infants and hepatitis A vaccines for people at risk for development of this disease while traveling in endemic countries. People exposed to hepatitis B may be recommended to use antibody preparation to be protected from contracting hepatitis. Throughout the world blood products are tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, in order to prevent the spread of these diseases.
Hepatitis B and C and alcoholism are common causes of liver cirrhosis, so avoiding alcohol and preventing contraction of hepatitis infections are the main objectives for prevention of this disease. You should be aware that some people may be genetically predisposed to develop certain conditions (metabolic disorders, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis or autoimmune hepatitis) and these can progress and cause liver cirrhosis.
Liver Cancer Prevention
Avoiding alcohol abuse and prevention of hepatitis B and C are the best methods to prevent this disease in the first place. In patients suffering from liver cirrhosis doctors may recommend liver transplant to avoid complications and possible development of liver cancer.