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Does having metabolic syndrome increase my risk of cancer?

Audrey K. Chun, MD
Geriatric Medicine
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a constellation of factors that include abnormal lipid levels, elevated blood pressure and blood glucose, and being overweight. While it has been linked with a higher risk of heart problems, a study published in "Hepatology" revealed that participants with MetS had more than twice the risk of having hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common type of liver cancer, and more than one-and-a-half times the risk of having intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, the second-most common type, than people who did not have MetS. Liver cancer is most often associated with alcohol abuse and hepatitis. MetS increases the risk of fat, inflammation and scarring in the liver. A fatty, inflamed liver is like a smoldering brushfire that can increase the risk of cancer.

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