Chronic sleep disruption, or social jet lag, impairs normal liver function and may contribute to liver cancer

Science Translation

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer. HCC was traditionally considered a rare cancer but its incidence has been steadily on the rise since the 1980’s and is now the fastest rising cause of cancer death. Major risk factors for HCC include: hepatitis infection, fungal toxin exposure (Aflatoxins), and obesity. In developed countries, nearly 50% of all HCC cases are due to fatty liver disease caused by obesity. Fatty liver disease causes accumulation of fats droplets in the liver resulting in inflammation, scaring, and liver dysfunction. It can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption (called Alcoholic Fatty liver disease) or by insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, and obesity (called Non-alcoholic Fatty liver disease). In the developed world, Non-alcoholic Fatty liver disease is found in 95% of people who are morbidly obese. In these patients the disease can predispose them to liver cancer, specifically HCC. Another risk…

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