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Q. I am an alcoholic. Do I have the risk of liver cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Babu Lal Meena
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 13, 2015 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor, I am a 34 year old male. During recent times I am feeling a fear of having liver cancer due to my history of heavy alcoholism. I have mentioned my risk factors below:

  • My body weight is 89Kg and my height is 166cm.
  • I had mumps at an age of 5 years.
  • I have kidney stones (as per the reports attached).
  • I had hepatitis A in 2004.
  • I was a heavy alcoholic from 2008-2012 with a daily intake of almost 300mL hard spirit daily.
  • I reduced alcohol intake after being diagnosed by grade 1 fatty liver in 2013 October.
  • Presently, I have pain or sensitivity on the upper right quadrant, a day after drinking alcohol. I have alcohol weekly twice and the pain goes away after 3-4 days of abstinence from alcohol.
  • High calcium level as per attached blood report.
  • Low vitamin D level as per attached blood report.
  • I have sensitivity in the neck area.
  • Although I have been having a good appetite, I still feel that I may have a very initial stage of HCC (Hepatocellular carcinoma) or any other liver complication.

My questions are:

  • What is your opinion towards the risk factor of having HCC on the basis of attached reports and above mentioned risk factors?
  • I am using Livatone plus since last 4 months, one capsule 2 times a day. Do they interfere with alcohol drinking 2-3 times in a week?
  • I have recently started to take multivitamin tablets (Ranbaxy Revital) once daily, without any prescription, after feeling tiredness and fatigue. Is it fine to take these tablets?
  • Is tiredness and fatigue a cause of long term alcohol abuse?
  • Do you suggest any further test and if yes, then within what time limit can I do it, as I am planning to go for a whole body check up only after 3 months due to insurance restrictions?
  • If I have very initial stage cancer, will it reach to a complicated level after 3 months?
  • I feel breathless after having food, is this due to the reason I am asthmatic as this symptom relieves once I take a puff of Asthalin? Or, is it due to any liver complication?
  • I feel darkness under eyes, is it due to any liver disease which may be progressing?
  • Do my high albumin level and low alkaline phosphatase levels signify any liver complication?
  • Does a normal LFT rule out HCC or Cirrhosis at early stage?
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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Your reports are essentially normal except for elevated cholesterol (attachments removed to protect patient identity).
  • Yes, you have a risk of HCC due to alcohol intake.
  • Grade 1 fatty changes in the liver may be due to obesity and alcohol consumption.
  • But still you not need to worry, alcohol induced hepatitis changes are reversible in the initial stages.
  • And you need to lower your weight at least up to 80Kg.
  • You have not mentioned about fasting glucose level, as it is necessary especially when your cholesterol level is elevated.
  • The pain in the right side of the abdomen may be due to fatty liver or kidney stones or acidity.
  • HCC in the case of alcoholism occurs after cirrhosis i.e, in the advance stage of the disease.
  • It may occur without cirrhosis in the case of hepatitis B and C infection.
  • Hepatitis A, mumps and kidney stones are not risk factors for HCC.
  • You have mentioned about some rash in the neck, that may be due to multivitamin deficiency particularly of niacin so continue revital capsules.
  • You do not need any other investigations, but you just can get vaccination done for hepatitis B (if not done previously) to prevent infection as well as HCC, and also get done a test for hepatitis B and C prior to vaccination. 

Final advice is just forget alcohol and any other bad habits as well as HCC.

Revert back to a medical gastroenterologist online for further follow up --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/medical-gastroenterologist


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