ASCO expert and Prevention Committee member Noelle LoConte, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin (UW) and co-leader of the UW Carbone Cancer Center gastrointestinal disease oriented working group spoke on a panel on “NASH and Liver Cancer” for International NASH Day.
International NASH Day, June 12, was created by the Global Liver Institute to raise awareness about NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) and NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) and the actions that people can take to address these diseases.
As part of this year’s lineup, six panels were planned over the course of the day. The “NASH and Liver Cancer” panel aimed to generate awareness about obesity and liver diseases as risk factors for cancer, as well as screening measures. Dr. LoConte was joined by experts from around the world, including fellow speakers Antonella Cardone, MSc, director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition in Brussels, Belgium; Vlad Ratziu, MD, PhD, a professor of hepatology at Sorbonne University in Paris; and Maria Reig, MD PhD, head of the Liver Cancer Unit at Spain’s Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, Spain.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, “NAFLD is a very common disorder and refers to a group of conditions where there is accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol.” The disorder can raise a person’s risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common type of primary liver cancer.
NASH, according to the American Liver Foundation, is “the more severe form of NAFLD in which you have hepatitis—meaning swelling or inflammation of the liver—and liver cell damage, in addition to fat in your liver. Inflammation and liver cell damage can cause fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver.”