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Ask EASL: podcast on Liver Cancer • Ask EASL is a new series of educational content dedicated to answering questions from patients and patient organisations on important topics around liver disease. In this audio interview conducted on the occasion of liver cancer awareness month, Dr. Massimo A. Iavarone, hepatologist at the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan, Italy, is answering key questions raised by the Liver Patients International (LPI) and PSC Support, two EASL-affiliated patient associations, both part of the EASL patient synergies project.
COVID-19 and the liver
Ask EASL: podcast on COVID-19 vaccination in patients with liver disease • Ask EASL is an ongoing series of educational podcasts dedicated to answering questions from patients and patient organisations on important topics around liver disease. In this episode, Professor Markus Cornberg is joined by Dr Christiane Eberhardt and Professor Daniel Shouval to answer a range of questions raised by EASL’s Patient Synergies regarding the recently approved COVID-19 vaccinations. They address topics including the reasons for the rapid development of the vaccines, whether immunocompromised liver transplant patients should receive the vaccine, real-world data from vaccination programmes worldwide and the potential duration of immunity.
Liver Cancer Explained • Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and the primary cause of death for patients with cirrhosis. Most of liver cancers are hepatocellular carcinomas, however some patients develop intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICC) or rare tumours in non-cirrhotic livers. Chronic liver diseases, alcohol consumption, obesity and diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), exposure to aflatoxins, as well as chronic infection with HBV or HCV are considered risk factors. The burden of adult liver cancers and HCC is still increasing and various public health strategies have been developed for the prevention and control of this trend which will likely remain a major public health problem worldwide in the upcoming decades. Discover the infographic below illustrating key information for a better understanding of liver cancer. Liver Cancer Explained Infographic
Metabolism, Alcohol & Toxicity
Reducing the burden of alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) • ARLD is responsible for nearly 40,000 deaths in Europe every year and alcohol consumption is directly correlated with liver disease mortality in most EU countries. It is largely a ‘silent’ illness, in 75% of cases, it is not identified until the patient is in the emergency room, with heavy drinkers at exponentially higher risk of cirrhosis. To address this growing problem, EASL is calling on all European countries to limit alcohol consumption and increase disease detection by implementing five key recommendations. In doing so, we can all reduce the personal and economic burden of ARLD.
Metabolism, Alcohol & Toxicity
Obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) • NAFLD is one of the most common causes of cirrhosis, liver transplant and liver cancer worldwide. Its prevalence is rising, in line with that of risk factors such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. There are no licenced medications for NAFLD, but it can be avoided and successfully treated by making lifestyle modifications including healthy eating and increased exercise. To mitigate the societal burden of NAFLD, EASL is calling on all European countries to adopt key policy changes which discourage consumption while improving health education and awareness. We can all do our part to reduce the risk of NAFLD.
Eliminating hepatitis C • Despite the ability of new direct-acting antiviral therapies to cure hepatitis C in almost all treated patients, HCV is still responsible for 400,000 deaths worldwide every year. Not only do patients face a number of barriers to treatment, but infection is largely asymptomatic until its later stages, leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. To tackle the challenge of HCV, EASL is calling on all European countries to implement the WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis action plan. EASL and the WHO believe that HCV can be eliminated as a public health threat by 2030, but we need to work together and take action now.