(BPT) - A liver cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Navigating this complex and often misunderstood disease can be challenging and, like many others before them, the more than 40,000 Americans who will be diagnosed this year may feel stigmatized, lost and alone. Some people living with liver cancer may even feel discouraged or uncomfortable seeking medical care. Ultimately, it’s more important than ever for anyone impacted by liver cancer to be empowered to take action by understanding more about this disease, finding support, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
To help raise awareness about liver cancer and the importance of making simple daily adjustments to support liver health, baseball legend and Latin Grammy-nominated musician Bernie Williams teamed up with Blue Faery, the Global Liver Institute and Eisai Inc. to launch One Liver to Love. Through this initiative, anyone living with liver cancer can find information, educational resources and advocacy support services, as well as a sense of community. Check out this video to hear more from Bernie and learn about the four bases of liver health—nutrition, exercise, sleep and mental health—that are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle with liver disease and liver cancer.
Just like in baseball, Williams also understands the importance of relying on a team for support. Having many family members impacted by liver disease, he knew it was crucial to provide emotional support and help them to maintain healthy lifestyle choices throughout their care. That’s why he joined the One Liver to Love program to help people living with liver cancer feel seen and inspire them to build their own support team roster.
“Liver disease is personal to me. It has impacted my mom, my uncle and my grandfather, and I’ve seen firsthand the difficulties and feelings that come with it,” said Williams. “Liver disease and liver cancer can disproportionately impact communities of color, so I’m glad to go to bat for the One Liver to Love initiative to encourage everyone to be proactive when it comes to liver health and help those affected by liver cancer feel seen and supported.”
“Liver cancer can be thought of as a disease within a disease, because most liver cancers occur in people with an underlying liver condition such as cirrhosis and viral hepatitis,” said Dr. Mark Lewis, MD, director, Gastrointestinal Oncology, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah. “The liver is a vital organ, so it's crucial to focus on overall liver health. People living with liver cancer should turn to their health care team to better understand the disease, ways they can maintain a healthy lifestyle, and find a treatment plan that’s right for them.”
“Life may throw curveballs, but it’s important to remember you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to be proactive about your liver health,” says Williams. “I hope that by understanding these four bases, turning to family and loved ones, and connecting with the liver cancer community as part of your team, you can feel empowered to cast aside stigma, seek support and hit a 'home run' for liver wellness.”
For helpful information, advocacy support and educational resources about liver disease and liver cancer, visit OneLiverToLove.com. You can also join the conversation online by using #OneLiverToLove on social media.