October Liver Cancer Awareness Month, together we are stronger! (Guest blog)

What is Liver Cancer Awareness Month?

October brings liver cancer into focus to increase understanding of the disease, including its prevalence, approaches to screening, prevention, and treatment options. Liver Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM) is a great time to learn more about this vital organ's role and how to keep it healthy and raise awareness of the local and global impact among patients, families’ members, healthcare professionals, other stakeholders, and general public.

Why do we have Liver Cancer Awareness Month?

Liver cancer is a major health problem, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is considered one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It is also associated with many liver diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, excessive alcohol intake, NASH, and NAFLD.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption to lives worldwide, presenting challenges that people have not encountered before. It is a particularly worrying time for patients with cancer as well as their families and friends. However, it is crucial to protect your health as far as possible.

Due to this fact, the European Liver Patients’ Association – ELPA devotes each year the whole month of October to share awareness, information, and essential data regarding HCC with its followers.

In 2020, being aware of the great importance patients’ associations have in raising awareness about HCC, ELPA decided to be more ambitious. To make its engagement deeper and broader, ELPA launched a website entirely dedicated to liver cancer. Besides raising understanding of this challenging disease with a Media Centre with materials to download, personalize, and share, this website also aimed at going beyond October 2020. A section was dedicated to all the upcoming activities ELPA will organize in the field of education, awareness, and advocacy. 

The website collected endorsements from many other Patients’ organizations. One of the most fruitful was from Digestive Cancers Europe (DiCE), an organization with whom ELPA had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The October DiCE Masterclass Series Webinar was entirely dedicated to HCC. The joint event with ELPA was wholly dedicated to the members of both associations. Besides, the two organizations organized a final round table as a conclusive LCAM event.

However, ELPA’s collaboration during the LCAM did not stop with Patients’ organizations. This year, Ipsen and the “The Organ Family” supported ELPA’s campaign. As part of the campaign, Ipsen launched an animated series following “The Organ Family.” These character representations of different body organs detailed the effects of lifestyle factors on the central character, Liv the Liver.

Marko Korenjak

Marko Korenjak is the President of the European Liver Patients' Association (ELPA).
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