Since most liver cancer develops in patients with long standing (chronic) hepatitis viral infection, prevention of infection is vital. Avoiding contact with an infected person's blood can prevent the transmission of hepatitis viruses. In addition, there is an effective vaccine for hepatitis B. To learn more about this vaccine click here. However, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C virus.

Once patients develop chronic infection with hepatitis viruses, the goal is to preserve liver tissue and prevent scarring (cirrhosis). This requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving the patient, a hepatologist and pathologist. Once it is established that a patient is chronically infected with a hepatitis virus, the patient will need to enter into a treatment program to minimize liver damage. This program involves regular visits to a hepatologist who will monitor the relative health of the liver. This monitoring may involve simple blood tests or occasionally a liver needle biopsy. A pathologist experienced in interpreting liver biopsies will determine the amount of liver damage and scarring. Patients need to learn to avoid activities with can further damage the liver, such as consuming alcohol or taking certain medications. In addition, patients can engage in liver healthy activities such as maintaining an ideal body weight and a liver healthy diet.