Things You Should Know About Liver Cancer

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LIVER CANCER

Liver cancer is the cancer that starts in the cells of your liver. Your liver is a football-sized organ that assembles in the upper right part of abdomen, beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach.

Numerous types of cancer can formulate in the liver from which the most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the main type of liver cell (hepatocyte). Other types of liver cancer, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma, are very uncommon.

TYPES:

  1. Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is very common type of primary liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma occurs mainly in people with chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection.

  1. Cholangiocarcinoma

Cholangiocarcinoma is cancer that creates in the bile duct, that carry the digestive fluid bile. It connects your liver to your gallbladder and to your small intestine. This condition, also known as bile duct cancer, is an uncommon form of cancer that occurs mostly in people older than age 50, though it can occur at any age.

SYMPTOMS:

  • Jaundice
  • Penetratingly itchy skin
  • White-colored stools
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unplanned weight loss

CAUSES:

It is not known what the roots of most cases of liver cancer are. But in some cases, the cause is known. For example, chronic infection with certain hepatitis viruses can cause liver cancer.

Liver cancer happens when liver cells develop changes in their DNA the material that provides instructions for every chemical process in your body. DNA mutations cause changes in these instructions. One result is that cells may begin to grow out of control and eventually form a tumor which is a mass of cancerous cells.

RISK FACTORS:

Elements that rise the risk of liver cancer contain:

  • Prolonged infection with HBV or HCV. Prolonged infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) rises risk of liver cancer.
  • Cirrhosis. This enhancing and irretrievable condition causes scar tissue to form in liver and spreads the possibilities of developing the liver cancer.
  • Some inherited liver diseases. Liver illness that increase the risk of liver cancer.
  • Diabetes.People with this blood sugar condition have a greater risk of liver cancer than those who don’t have diabetes.
  • Fatty liver disease. The growth of fat in the liver upsurges the risk of liver cancer.
  • Extreme alcohol consumption. Drinking more than an average amount of alcohol daily over many years can lead to liver damage and increases the risk of liver cancer.

PREVENTION:

Decrease the possibility of cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is marking of the liver, and it increases the risk of liver cancer. You can decrease the risk of cirrhosis if you:

  • Drink alcohol in control, if at all.
  • Maintain good physical shape.

Get vaccinated against hepatitis B

You can decrease your risk of hepatitis B by getting the hepatitis B vaccine, which offers more than 90 percent security for both adults and children. The vaccine can be given to everyone, to those with compromised immune systems.

Take steps to prevent hepatitis C

No vaccination for hepatitis C subsists, but you can reduce your risk of infection.

  • You should check the health status of any sexual partner.
  • Do not use intravenous (IV) medication, but if you have to do, then use a clean needle.
  • Look for a safe, clean shops when you get a piercing or tattoo.

TEST AND TREATMENT:

ANALYZE LIVER CANCER

Assessments and techniques used to diagnose liver cancer contain:

  • Blood tests.
  • Imaging tests.
  • Taking out a sample of liver tissue for testing.

SHAPING THE EXTENT OF CANCER

Once the liver cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will work to check the stage of cancer. The stage tests helps to determine the size and location of cancer and whether it has spread. The image tests like CT, MRI and bone scan are used to get information about liver cancer stage.

 TREATMENT:

Liver cancer treatment options may include:

  • Surgery to eliminate a part of the liver. In some cases, doctor may recommend fractional hepatectomy, i.e. to remove the liver cancer and a small part of healthy tissue that ambiances it if your tumor is small and your liver function is good.
  • Liver transplant surgery. During the surgery, your unhealthy liver is removed and replaced with a healthy liver from a donor. Liver transplant surgery is only recommended for a small percentage of patients with early-stage liver cancer.
  • Freezing cancer cells. Cryoablation uses extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. During the procedure, your doctor puts an instrument comprising of liquid nitrogen directly onto liver tumors. Ultrasound images are used to help the cryoprobe and monitor the freezing of the cells.
  • Heating cancer cells. In a practice which is called radiofrequency ablation, an electric current is used to heat and damage the cancer cells. Using an ultrasound or CT scan, your medical practitioner inserts one or more thin needles into small cuts in your abdomen. When the needles reach the tumor, they are heated with an electric current, destroying the cancer cells.
  • Injecting alcohol into the tumor. During alcohol injection, pure alcohol is injected directly into tumors, either through the skin or during an operation. Alcohol causes the tumor cells to die.
  • Injecting chemotherapy drugs into the liver. Chemotherapy treatment which deliveries strong anti-cancer medicine directly to the liver. During the process, chemotherapy drugs are injected into the hepatic artery and then the artery is blocked. This helps to block the blood flow to the cancer cells and to send chemotherapy drugs to the cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy. This treatment uses high-powered energy beams to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. During the treatment, you lie down on a table and a machine guides the energy beams at an exact point on your body. Radiation therapy for liver cancer may involve a technique called stereotactic radiosurgery that simultaneously emphases many beams of radiation at one point in the body.
  • Targeted drug therapy. Targeted drugs work by hindering with a tumor’s ability to produce new blood vessels.

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