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Liver Cancer - How to prevent?

Take measures to reduce the risk of hepatitis B and hepatitis C

You can reduce your risk of hepatitis B by receiving the hepatitis B vaccine. Vaccines for hepatitis B are available for children and adults. Children should get hepatitis B immunisation at birth as part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Family members of patients with hepatitis B are advised to check their own hepatitis B status.

If you are at risk for hepatitis B or C infection, consider undergoing a screening test.

Those with chronic hepatitis B or C should also visit their doctors for regular surveillance with imaging tests, such as ultrasound. If you have chronic hepatitis B or C, you might be a candidate for antiviral therapy, which can slow down the progression of liver disease and may decrease, but not totally eliminate the risk of liver cancer.

Healthy lifestyle

You can lower your risk of developing liver cancer by leading a healthy lifestyle - exercise regularly, control your weight and eat a healthy balanced diet.

Chronic alcohol use is a risk factor and can lead to liver cirrhosis, which increases the risk of liver cancer. The Health Promotion Board recommends no more than two standard drinks a day for men, and no more than one standard drink a day for women.

Screening

Screening is advised for high-risk individuals with liver cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis B infection. Regular screening may involve blood tests for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and liver function assessments every 3 months, as well as ultrasound scans of the liver every 6 months.

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