Health Desk- At present, liver cancer is becoming a common problem because there has been a lot of change from food to lifestyle, which is causing many complex diseases. Generally, the initial symptoms and signs of liver cancer are not visible due to which the liver condition worsens and we are not even able to know. If liver cancer is not treated on time, it can also be fatal.
In such a situation, it becomes very important that you know about the symptoms and remedies of liver cancer. So let us know in detail about the causes, symptoms and treatment of liver cancer through this article.
What is liver?
Liver is an important part of our body which is located in the upper right part of the abdomen and below the diaphragm. Liver controls most of the chemical elements present in the blood. Apart from this, the liver helps in removing toxic substances from our body. The liver plays a major role in digesting vitamins and other nutrients such as fats, and in the manufacture of bile. The liver helps the body fight infection and digest fat. Apart from this, the liver helps a lot in storing carbohydrates. So if the liver remains healthy and functions properly then we remain healthy.
What is liver cancer?
Generally, people over the age of 40 are more likely to develop liver cancer than younger people. Liver cancer is sometimes also known as hepatic cancer. Liver cancer starts in the cells of our liver and slowly starts spreading. Liver cancer can become fatal when cancer cells start spreading from the liver to the surrounding cells and other organs where they interfere with other activities of the liver and this stage is called metastasis. In the beginning, no specific symptoms of liver cancer are visible, but as liver cancer starts growing, its symptoms start to be felt. In most cases of liver cancer, the root cause is not known. In some cases, hepatitis infection can be the main cause.
What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
Most of the patients do not show any specific symptoms in the beginning of liver cancer. But as the condition of liver cancer starts deteriorating with time, so do its symptoms. The following are the main symptoms of liver cancer:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Epigastric pain
- Weakness and tiredness
- Jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin)
- White stools
- Get fever
- Abdominal bloating
- Swollen feet
- Pain in or around the right shoulder blade
How many types of liver cancer are there?
Although there are many types of liver cancer, but there are mainly two types of liver cancer. First primary liver cancer and second secondary liver cancer.
1. Primary liver cancer –
In primary liver cancer, cancer cells start growing in the liver itself and spread to other tissues and organs. There are many types in primary liver cancer which are as follows:
1. Hepatocellular carcinoma: Usually 75% of liver cancers are based on hepatocellular carcinoma. It is caused by infection related to hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
2. Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma: This is a rare type of liver cancer that is usually curable with medical treatment.
3. Cholangiocarcinoma: This type of liver cancer can occur in the bile duct of the liver. Usually occurs in 10 to 20% of cases of liver cancer in patients.
4. Angiosarcoma: It starts in the blood vessels in the liver and grows rapidly. Angiosarcoma usually accounts for 1% of liver cancer cases.
2. Secondary liver cancer or metastatic liver cancer –
In secondary liver cancer, the growth of cancer cells starts in some other organ and they spread to the liver and affect the liver, it is also known as metastatic liver cancer.
What are the causes of liver cancer?
In most cases, the cause of liver cancer is not clear. In some cases, the cause of liver cancer can be traced, such as chronic hepatitis infection can also be a cause of liver cancer.
Common causes of liver cancer may be:
1. Genetics: If you have a family member with liver disease or a history of it, then your chances of developing liver cancer increase.
2. Cirrhosis: In this, liver cells are destroyed in a big way. Liver cirrhosis is often caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Although it can be caused by other reasons as well but alcohol is the main cause of cirrhosis.
3. Diabetes: Patients suffering from diabetes are also at risk of liver cancer.
4. Having fatty liver.
5. Excess obesity: Excessive increase in body weight of a person can also cause liver cancer.
6. Congenital: Liver cancer can also occur due to a health problem or any other defect that a person has from birth.
7. Chronic infection: Chronic infection associated with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus predisposes patients to liver cancer.
8. Chemicals: Ingestion of chemical substances like arsenic and vinyl chloride.
9. Rare diseases: The development of liver cancer has been linked in some cases to tyrosinase (a genetic disorder that impairs liver function) and Wilson’s disease (a congenital disease in which copper accumulates in the liver, brain, and other vital organs). Is. Such rare diseases can also cause liver cancer.
10. Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking can cause liver cancer.
Liver cancer diagnosis-
To diagnose liver cancer, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and do a physical exam. If you consume alcohol or have ever had hepatitis B or C infection? So definitely tell the doctor about this. The diagnostic tests and procedures for liver cancer include the following tests:
1. Liver function test: This test allows your doctor to check the levels of proteins, liver enzymes and bilirubin in your blood.
2. Alpha-feto protein test: The presence of alpha-feto protein in your blood can be a sign of liver cancer. This protein is normally produced only in the liver and yolk sac of a developing embryo. Production of alpha-feto protein usually stops after birth.
3. Imaging tests: Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan tests can be used to create a clear picture of the liver and other organs in your abdomen. These pictures help your doctor find out where the tumor is growing, its size, and whether the cancer has spread to other organs.
4. Liver Biopsy: If liver function tests, alpha-feto protein tests and imaging tests do not reveal the exact cause of liver cancer, then your doctor may do a liver biopsy. In a liver biopsy, the doctor removes a small piece of liver tissue and tests it. Often before liver biopsy, the patient is given local anesthesia, so that the patient does not feel pain.
What is the treatment of liver cancer?
There are many options available for the treatment of liver cancer. To decide the course of treatment your doctor will consider the following factors and based on this the course of treatment will be decided:
1. Number, size and location of tumors in your liver?
2. How well is your liver working?
3. Cirrhosis is present or not?
4. Has the cancer spread to other organs or not?
Generally liver cancer can be treated in 5 following ways:
1. Surgery: Liver cancer can be treated with surgery. In this process, the cancerous part is removed. If a small tumor has formed in the patient’s liver, it can be treated with surgery.
2. Liver Transplant: In the transplant process, the cancerous liver is removed and replaced with a healthy liver. But liver transplant treatment is possible only when the cancer has not spread to any other organ.
3. Ablation: In this process, injections are given to destroy cancer cells by making the patient unconscious. This procedure is more beneficial for those patients who cannot have surgery or liver transplant.
4. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high energy radiation to destroy cancer cells. The side effects of radiation therapy can be high due to which skin problems and vomiting can occur.
5 .Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is also used to destroy cancer cells. This is given through medicines. Chemotherapy is a very effective treatment for liver cancer. But due to its medicines, the patient may have to face problems like vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, chills, body pain and high body heat.
Disclaimer – Now after reading this article you must have understood what is liver cancer? What are its causes, symptoms and treatment? But this is not a medical opinion, so on seeing the above mentioned symptoms, seek the advice of a qualified doctor. Thank you.