Cheap alcohol and junk food has ‘played a role’ in the significant rise of liver cancer deaths in the past decade, a top health charity has revealed.

The British Liver Trust has found that unhealthy lifestyles have triggered a 40% increase in liver cancer deaths over the last 10 years.

In the UK, liver cancer is now the fastest rising cause of cancer deaths in the country, health data has identified.

Pamela Healy, Trust Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said: “The key drivers for the increase in cases and deaths are alcohol and obesity.

“Too many of us are drinking too much alcohol and are overweight. We urgently need government action on both issues.”

She added: “The Government must urgently tackle the accessibility and abundance of unhealthy food which is often significantly cheaper.”

Public health officials are now calling for the Government to set a minimum pricing on alcohol after Scotland introduced a minimum price of 50p a unit in 2018.

According to the British Liver Trust, cases of liver cancer can be reduced by getting an earlier diagnosis, having better access to the most effective treatment and having a greater focus on prevention.

People with liver disease are more at risk of developing liver cancer compared to those with the condition, the Trust has discovered.

However, the charity has reported that healthy lifestyle adjustments can reverse the disease, such as reducing your junk food and alcohol intake.

The British Liver Trust said: “Population-wide measures which regulate the affordability and accessibility of alcohol and unhealthy food are proven to be more effective than individual behaviour change in reducing disease.”

In the UK, approximately 6,000 cases of liver cancer are detected every year, equating to 16 per day.

Previous studies have found that less than 15% of people with liver cancer live for five years or more after their diagnosis.

A representative from the Department of Health said: “Obesity costs the NHS around £6.5 billion a year and is the second biggest cause of cancer.

“The NHS has seen and treated record numbers of cancer patients over the last two years and cancer is being diagnosed at an earlier stage more often.”

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