Every bite of junk food, each sip of alcohol, every minute spent idly lying on the couch has a different effect on different bodies. Each individual has a different composition and threshold for different things and that determines their resilience to diseases and disorders. With changing lifestyle and dietary habits, obesity and type -2 diabetes seems to be on the rise and this, in turn, makes its cascading effect felt on chronic liver diseases like cirrhosis of the liver, which ultimately leads to liver cancer.
Though the lifestyle and eating habits of men and women may be more or less similar, researchers have highlighted the fact that men are more prone to liver cancer than women. While both might be equally prone to obesity and type 2 diabetes, it’s just that the genetic predisposition of the male liver is such that it makes men more vulnerable to getting liver cancer than women.
The liver is the largest internal organ of the human body and is known as the metabolic factory, for its crucial role in breaking down food into energy. Strangely, while the liver is not a reproductive organ, it implies that this should be similar in both men and women, but researchers have revealed otherwise. Though males and females are born with the same liver, it is usually during puberty that some differences arise in them as male livers are exposed to periodic bursts of growth hormone. As a result, livers of men express different genes than livers of women, which in turn also explain why men and women can have a different reaction to certain antibiotics and medications.
This exposure of the male liver to periodic bursts of growth hormone has rendered them less effective to tackle with inflammation of the liver caused due to infections like hepatitis C and B. This explains why despite both men and women being equally vulnerable to acquiring hepatitis infection, men have higher chances of the infection scarring their liver so much so that it can lead to other chronic liver diseases like cirrhosis of liver or liver cancer.
Apart from genetic predisposition, which makes the male liver less equipped to handle liver inflammation and thus more vulnerable to liver cancer, there is another social factor. And that is alcoholism. Though women and men both can and do, consume alcohol, in our society, it is still largely the male population that is into drinking more. Women too drink, but usually, the quantity and frequency are much lesser than men.
And it is an established fact that alcoholism has a direct impact on liver diseases. It is still considered the second most common cause of cirrhosis of the liver, an end-stage liver disease, which in turn leads to liver cancer, if not detected and treated on time. Different bodies have a different threshold of alcohol consumption. However, drinking socially once in a while is not said to cause alcoholic liver diseases. But an overexposure to alcohol of more than a couple of drinks per day for years together does leave a serious impact on the liver. This leads to accumulation of fat and inflammation of the liver, which in turn makes it impossible for the liver to carry on its required function of metabolism normally. As a result, it causes cirrhosis of the liver, and that in many cases develop to liver cancer either due to delayed detection or treatment.
Liver cancer occurs when liver cells develop changes in their DNA, as a result, the liver cells do not perform their functions normally. Due to this, the cells may begin to grow out of control and eventually form a tumor, which is a mass of cancerous cells. And the likeliness of liver cells developing changes in their DNA is determined by factors that affect the liver and its functionings, like chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis B, and C, alcoholic liver diseases. So the healthier the liver stays, the lesser the chances of developing liver cancer. And with social factors in play and the genetic predisposition of the male liver, it seems that men are more at a risk of the liver cancer. Not that women don’t have liver cancer, but due to certain factors, men are more prone to acquiring this than women.
Symptoms of liver cancer:
Causes which might lead to liver cancer:
Steps to keep your liver healthy: