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Boramae discovers connection between colon and liver cancer in alcoholics
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.03.28 15:34
  • Updated 2019.03.28 15:34
  • comments 0

A research team at Seoul National University Boramae Hospital has discovered that patients with alcoholic liver disease with colorectal cancer were more likely to have liver cancer, the hospital said Wednesday.

Professor Kim Won

Excessive drinking increases the risk of alcoholic liver disease, and overdrinking is also one of the major causes of liver cancer. It is essential to diagnose and treat liver cancer at an early stage, as it has a high possibility of recurrence even after treatment.

Too much drinking can also affect the incidence of colorectal cancer. However, there have been no studies confirming the relationship between colon and liver cancer in patients with alcoholic liver disease.

The team, led by Professor Kim Won of the Department of Gastroenterology, analyzed the colon and liver cancer screening data of 1,184 alcoholic liver disease patients who visited Boramae Hospital or Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH). Professor Kim Jin-wook from SNUBH also participated in the research.

The result showed that 2 percent of the patients had colon cancer, while 67 percent of them had cirrhosis. The patient’s daily average alcohol intake was 108 grams, which was nearly twice as much as the average daily alcohol intake (57 grams) of patients without colon cancer. The risk of liver cancer was also relatively high.

Also, the team used Cox regression analysis -- a traditional method for assessing the risk factors of the disease -- to estimate the risk factor for liver, and found that the hazard ratio of liver cirrhosis, which is one of the leading causes of liver cancer, was 11.36, while the hazard ratio of colorectal cancer was 12.64. The result indicated that colon cancer is a significant risk factor for liver cancer.

“The study confirms the increased risk of liver cancer in patients with alcoholic liver disease diagnosed with colorectal cancer,” Professor Kim said. “As liver cancer is difficult to diagnose early and the risk of recurrence is high, it is necessary to examine liver cancer early for patients with alcoholic liver disease and colon cancer.”

Scientific Reports published the results of the study.


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