DC tops liver cancer rates as related deaths surge nationally

WASHINGTON — Liver cancer deaths are on the rise across the country, and especially in D.C.

There will be an estimated 29,000 liver-cancer deaths this year, according to a recent American Cancer Society study. Additionally, only 1 in 5 patients will survive after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Related News

Making matters worse, D.C. has the highest liver cancer rates in the country with 15 deaths per 100,000 men, and five such deaths per 100,000 women.

African-American men are also more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer and generally have shorter survival times than others.

So what makes liver cancer so deadly?

It is often diagnosed in late stages when there are obvious symptoms that send a patient to the doctor, such as weight loss, appetite loss, nausea and abdominal pain.

When it comes to risk factors — having hepatitis tops the list. Baby Boomers are most likely to be impacted by that disease and should ask their doctor to test them for it if they haven’t.

In addition to hepatitis screenings, other ways to prevent liver cancer include maintaining a normal body weight, keeping diabetes under control and not over-imbibing in alcohol.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up