Liver Cancer - Types, Symptoms & Risk Factors

HAVING LIVER CANCER? BUT IS NOT THE END OF YOUR WORLD!

Every year, 50,000 people in India are diagnosed with liver cancer.

It is one of the most common and fastest-spreading cancers in India and around the world. In India, there are around 3-5 cases of liver disease per 100,000 persons, resulting in 50,000 new cases each year.

LIVER: One of the most important organs within the anatomy. A soccer ball-sized organ is found on the right side of the abdomen and is protected by the rib cage. The liver may be a vital organ & performs 3 important functions:

(A) It filters and removes waste and toxins from the blood.

(B) It makes bile that breaks down fats within the digestive process.

(C) It stores energy within the kind of glycogen, a sort of sugar.

Liver cancer is usually called the “SILENT DISEASE.” It typically doesn’t cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. As a result, it's often diagnosed at a later stage.

Liver Cancer, also referred to as Hepatocellular Cancer, is cancer that originates within the liver itself. If cancer originates in another part of the body and spreads to the liver, it's referred to as Liver Metastases.

Tumours that originate within the colon, lung, breast, pancreas, stomach, and other organs and spread to the liver through the bloodstream can even produce liver disease.

HOW LIVER CANCER OCCURS?

Liver Cancer occurs when changes (mutations) occur within the DNA of liver cells. One result's that the cells begin to grow out of control and eventually the cancerous cells form tumors and gradually invade the encircling tissues.

TYPES OF LIVER CANCER

1) PRIMARY CANCER

Primary Liver Cancer originates within the liver and forms within the tissues. It is rarely diagnosed early and sometimes doesn't answer current treatments. This typically makes cancer diagnosis difficult and leads to a bad prognosis.

2) SECONDARY CANCER

Secondary Liver Cancer occurs when cancer in another part of the body spreads to the liver. This mostly occurs with colon, lung, and breast cancers, which spread to the liver cells.

RISK FACTORS OF LIVER CANCER

Factors that increase the danger of liver cancer include:

  • Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Certain inherited liver diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Non-alcoholic liver disease
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Exposure to aflatoxins
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

SYMPTOMS OF LIVER CANCER

  • Losing weight without trying
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Yellow discoloration of your skin and also the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • White, chalky stools

Make an appointment with a specialist, if you experience any signs or symptoms that worry you.

WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO GET LIVER CANCER?

Anyone can get Primary cancer of the liver. it is not always clear what causes it.

You might be more susceptible to getting it, if you:

  • Are over the age of 60, it's most typical in people over 85
  • Are a male, as men are more likely than women to develop liver cancer
  • Have certain medical conditions, like hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, gallstones, diabetes, a parasite within the liver (liver flukes), and HIV
  • Have a brother, sister or parent who had primary liver cancer

Secondary cancer of the liver is caused by cancer cells from cancer elsewhere within the body spreading to the liver.

PREVENTION AGAINST LIVER CANCER

(A) Reduce your risk of cirrhosis

(B) Get vaccinated against hepatitis B

(C) Take measures to stop viral hepatitis

(D) Ask your doctor about carcinoma screening

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR LIVER CANCER

Following treatment options are carried out depending upon the stage of cancer and health condition of the patient:

  • Surgery- the option to remove the tumour and a little amount of tissue around it; is usually done if the liver cancer is tiny and you have decent liver function otherwise.
  • Liver Transplant- a tiny percentage of individuals may be candidates for liver transplant surgery, which involves replacing your liver with a healthy liver from a donor.
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy- high-powered x-rays and protons are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells and reduce tumours.

Imaging tests are frequently used by doctors to detect how well cancer responds to treatment and whether it is spreading despite treatment.

Speak with a healthcare expert at INFINITY GASTRO PLUS, Surat, who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer. For further information CONTACT US ON +91 9978836642.

  • Dr. Ronak Malani

    Gastroenterologist & Colorectal Cancer Specialist