With doctors seeing more cases of fatty liver disease, which can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer, the Canadian Liver Foundation BC/Yukon Region is bringing the Liver Beware project to Surrey – offering this community service for up to 350 Surrey-area residents.
Using Fibroscan screening, Liver Beware is being offered this summer by the Canadian Liver Foundation to residents who pre-register. Sessions are offered Saturdays and Sundays from July 9 until Sept. 11.
Testing is done by $20 donation and can determine if someone has fatty liver and liver scarring, or cirrhosis. Fibroscan involves an ultrasound wave aimed at the liver, to determine the degree of fibrosis, or scarring.
Why do you need to get tested?
“I think that 20 to 30 per cent of the North American population having fatty liver disease is probably a good answer,” says Dr. Eric M. Yoshida, gastroenterologist and medical advisory chair with Canadian Liver Foundation. “People need to become aware of this and should become aware of whether they have it or not. From the local Vancouver General Hospital perspective, we are seeing more and more patients referred to us for a liver transplant with fatty liver disease as the cause of end-stage liver disease.”
“Fibroscan is a technology called transient elastography that utilizes an ultrasound wave aimed at the liver, to determine the degree of fibrosis (ie. scarring),” Dr. Yoshida says. “Another feature of the newer units is a program called the Controlled Attenuation Parameter that determines how much fat is present in the liver. Both Fibroscan and CAP are non-invasive, pain free, harmless and with an experienced technician, can be done quickly and accurately.
“Fatty liver disease that is not alcohol-related is part of metabolic syndrome that includes diabetes, obesity, etc.,” Dr. Yoshida explains. “Fatty liver disease patients are at increased risk of not only cirrhosis and liver cancer but also heart disease and have an overall increased risk of cancer. Fatty liver disease is avoidable and can be reversible especially if detected early. A healthy lifestyle including healthy eating, regular physical activity (i.e. exercise) and avoiding alcohol can go a long way.”
“I should add that about 20 per cent of people with normal Body Mass Index can have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”
London Drugs Pharmacy is the corporate partner of the project, and are donating their private patient room at their West Broadway location in Vancouver, and the Guildford Town Centre location in Surrey. To pre-book an appointment, people aged 35 to 70 years can call 604-707-6430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. After testing is done, a copy of the result will be given to the patient to bring to their GP for follow-up.