What causes Liver cancer and what kind of people are at high risk

Hi everyone, am Stephen from Zambia living with hepatitis b, Kindly asking how long does it take for someone to develop liver cancer, caused by hepatitis b. And what causes one to develop cancer even when they are on treatment

Hope answers to this question helps many stressed ones including myself.
Additionally is it possible to prevent liver cancer caused by hepatitis b?

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Hi @Stephen1520,
Welcome Stephen and thanks for your thoughtful questions. I don’t think anyone can say exactly how long it takes someone to develop liver cancer. The hepatitis B virus can remain silent while doing damage and showing no signs or symptoms. But we do know that if hepatitis B is left untreated it can likely lead to the development of liver cancer. That is why we are sounding the alarm asking people to get tested, vaccinated and treated. Treatment slows the progression of the disease and limits the damage done to the liver by the hepatitis B virus.

I am yet to hear of someone that has been taking their medications judiciously and not doing stop, start, stop, start develop liver cancer. On the other hand, I have heard from people whose liver damage has improved and healed/recovered or remained stable since they started treatment. Taking the antivirals is supposed to slow the disease progression and stop further damage to the liver, thereby decreasing once chances of developing cancer. I understand this is not 100% guaranteed, but still better than no treatment at all.

I hope this helps answer your question. Best, Bansah1.


Hi @ Opa,
Yes, one by getting vaccinated if not infected. And by starting antiviral therapy (treatment). The medicine is going to slow down the disease progression drastically, thereby decreasing the likelihood of one developing liver cancer. This is not 100% guaranteed but majority who take their medication judiciary and remain in care do better at decreasing their chances of liver cancer.

Testing, vaccination and treatment are very important when it comes to hepatitis B disease/infection. I hope you find this helpful. Best, bansah1.

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Dear @Stephen1520 and @opa,

Thanks for these important questions. @Bansah1 is right and has brought up great points. Just to add on:

Hepatitis B can take decades to cause liver cancer: most people with chronic Hepatitis B were exposed as newborns or children, but do not get liver cancer until they are 40, 50, 60, or 70 years old.

We are still trying to understand exactly how cancer is being caused over this time, but we do know other sources of liver injury (fatty liver, other hepatitis infections, alcohol, etc.) can increase the risk of cancer or speed up its development. Reducing your exposure to these factors will prevent this increased risk.

Antiviral treatment lowers cancer risk by 70-80%, and it reduces the risk over time. It is not only until about 6 years after treatment that the cancer risk approaches that of people without hepatitis B.

Hope this helps,

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6 years after treatment or after treatment and functional cure achieved ?

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Thank you for your response appreciate a lot, have understood

Is there cure now for hepatitis B

Thank you sir your explanation as helped me a lot and others on this platform

Can someone living with hepatitis B get a vaccine for hepatitis A and C and how important are these vaccines are to someone who’s already have hepatitis B,

Hi @ Stephen1520,Yes, one can get vaccinated against hepatitis A, but there is no available vaccine for hepatitis C. It’s safe even for those with hepatitis B to get vaccinated against hepatitis A. In short there are vaccines available for hepatitis A and B, but not hepatitis C. And there is a cure for hepatitis C and not hepatitis B; and hepatitis A resolves on it’s own even without vaccination. But vaccination for hepatitis A is recommended. Thanks, bansah1.


Thank you understood

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Hi Stephen
according to my doctor The things that easily cause liver cancer are alcohol, groundnut and fried stuff.

Hi Linah , what sort of groundnut?
I’m told nuts are good for the liver. Cashew, almond and walnuts just some I know of. And peanut.

My doctor said peanut butter is fine because it’s processed…. but here in Nigeria we have groundnut that we normally fry and eat my doctor says is bad for for the liver bcus it has a lot of toxin in it

Interesting! They look like raw peanuts. I would listen to the doctor specifically if they are fried and contain lots of toxins.
Blessings and keep in touch.

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Just to clarify, it is not the groundnuts themselves that contain toxins, but mould that grows on them (these can also grow on peanuts). As long as you srick with good-quality nuts, these should be a problem in and of themselves.


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