Lifestyle and hepatocellular carcinoma what is the evidence and prevention recommendations

Shira Zelber-Sagi, Mazen Noureddin, Oren Shibolet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing burden of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) emphasizes the unmet need for primary prevention. Lifestyle measures appear to be important modifiable risk factors for HCC regardless of its etiology. Lifestyle patterns, as a whole and each component separately, are related to HCC risk. Dietary composition is important beyond obesity. Consumption of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as fish and poultry, are inversely associated with HCC, while red meat, saturated fat, and cholesterol are related to increased risk. Sugar consumption is associated with HCC risk, while fiber and vegetable intake is protective. Data from multiple studies clearly show a beneficial effect for physical activity in reducing the risk of HCC. However, the duration, mode and intensity of physical activity needed are yet to be determined. There is evidence that smoking can lead to liver fibrosis and liver cancer and has a synergistic effect with alcohol drinking. On the other hand, an excessive amount of alcohol by itself has been associated with increased risk of HCC directly (carcinogenic effect) or indirectly (liver fibrosis and cirrhosis progression. Large-scale intervention studies testing the effect of comprehensive lifestyle interventions on HCC prevention among diverse cohorts of liver disease patients are greatly warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103
Issue number1
StatePublished - 26 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Alcohol
  • Dietary composition
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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