London is in the grip of an epidemic of liver disease, a silent killer that leads to more than 8,000 people being admitted to hospital in the capital each year.[i]. The Love Your Liver awareness campaign comes to London at the end of the month to reach the one in five people who may have the early stages of liver disease, but be unaware of it.
Most liver disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes and the national charity, British Liver Trust will be offering free liver screening and scans to members of the public in their Love Your Liver mobile unit. The four-day roadshow will stop at the following locations.
- Sunday 24th March 2019, Windrush Square, Brixton, 10am to 4pm
- Monday 25th March 2019, Station Road, Harrow, 10am to 4pm
- Tuesday 26th March 2019, Great Queen Street, Convent Garden, 10am to 4pm
- Wednesday 27th March 2019, 10am to 4pm, Romford Market, Romford
If you wish to be scanned please arrive early as places are limited.
Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Policy and Communications at the British Liver Trust, said, “Liver disease and cancer of the liver affects thousands of people in London and the numbers diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate. There are very few signs of the disease in the early stages and when symptoms appear, the damage to the liver is often irreversible.
“We urge people in London to come along to one of our roadshows to take full advantage of this opportunity to have a free liver scan and get advice on lowering their liver disease risk in a friendly, informal setting.”
“The liver is just as vital an organ as the heart, but people often fail to appreciate the importance of keeping it healthy. There are also lots of myths – for example people believe that you need to be an ‘alcoholic’ to develop liver disease whereas one in five of us in the capital are currently drinking at a level that puts our liver at risk and many people don’t realise that being overweight is also a big risk factor.”
Dr Doug Thorburn, consultant hepatologist at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust , who are also supporting the campaign said, “At the moment three quarters of the people we see already have cirrhosis when they are diagnosed with liver disease. It’s vital that we alert people to the risk factors early. Diagnosis of liver problems at an less advanced stage provides the opportunity for earlier intervention which really can save lives. We’re delighted to be working with the British Liver Trust to raise awareness and prevent unnecessary deaths.”
Liver disease is largely preventable. More than 90% is due to three main risk factors: obesity, alcohol and viral hepatitis. The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps to Love Your Liver back to health:
- Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week
- Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat and take more exercise
- Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk. There are now highly effective cures for hepatitis c.
The Roadshow comprises a mobile unit where people can take a free online screening test and find out if they are at risk. Free scanning will also be available using a non-invasive Fibroscan device. There will be expert advice on how to keep your liver healthy from healthcare professionals who will be on hand to provide advice on diet, exercise and healthy living.
The Trust provides support and detailed information for anyone with, or affected by a liver condition. For more information, details of all the screening events or to take the online ‘Love Your Liver’ health screener, visit www.britishlivertrust.org.uk//love-your-liver