New Mexico sickened by high rate of liver cancer, report shows | KOB 4
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New Mexico sickened by high rate of liver cancer, report shows

Colton Shone
July 20, 2018 08:07 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico has the fifth highest rate of liver cancer in the nation. And the new report, from the Centers for Disease Control, says the disease is killing more people than ever.

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According to the CDC, deaths have increased by 43 percent in the last two decades, with Hispanics most at risk.

UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center Dr. Heloisa Soares says several risk factors lead to the high rate of liver cancer in New Mexico.

"We have a population that is overweight, we also have a high rate of IV drug use which leads to potentially increase rates of Hepatitis B and C," said Dr. Soares.

She says being at a healthy weight, getting hepatitis vaccines and not engaging in risky behaviors, such as having unprotected sex and sharing needles can reduce your chances of getting liver cancer.

However, there are some things that are out of a person's control.

"If you're male you have a higher risk of dying from liver cancer. That's something you cannot change," she said.

Dr. Soares says people who are at risk of liver disease should have their livers checked at least once a year, so treatment can be started early.

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Colton Shone

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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