What is Liver Cancer?
Uncontrolled growth and spread of cells in liver is called liver cancer. The cancer that starts in liver is primary liver cancer. Liver cancer that spreads from other organ such as bowel or breast to liver is called secondary or metastatic liver cancer.
What is the difference between liver cancer and liver tumor?
Any nodule or swelling in the liver is called liver tumor. A liver tumor can be non-cancerous (Benign) or cancerous (Malignant). Malignant liver tumor causes liver cancer. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer.
What are the causes of liver cancer?
The causes of liver cancers are as follows:
- Viral Hepatitis – HBV and HCV infections. There are around 5-10% estimated people with HBV or HCV developing in cancer
- Liver Cirrhosis – it is the result of all cause of long lasting liver damages. Among 5-10% of liver cirrhosis develops into liver cancer
- Toxins – Drinking water contaminated with Arsenic
What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
Usually there are no symptoms for liver cancer. But if the symptoms are seen then they are as follows:
- Weight Loss without any explanation
- Anorexia (Lack of appetite)
- Early Satiety (Feeling full with small portions of food)
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Liver enlargement of mass is felt in liver
- Deterioration in overall conditions of patient with cirrhosis
What are the Test to be carried out if liver cancer is detected?
It is important to detected cancer early, as small cancers in patient who has minimal symptoms can be treated effectively. If liver cancer is suspected the following tests are ordered by doctors
- Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Blood test
- Ultrasound Scan
- Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
What do one mean by liver cancer screening?
Liver cancer screaming is best way to detect liver cancer. It is performed to detect small cancers with no symptoms. Patients with liver disease having high risk to develop liver cancer should undergo liver cancer screening regularly. Liver cancer screening usually involves AFP blood test, ultrasound scan of liver. This screening test is 100% accurate.
What is the treatment for liver cancer?
Liver cancer treatment depends on multiple factors which are as follows
- Size of tumor
- Location of tumor
- Number of tumor
- Persons age
- Persons overall health
There are different ways of treating liver cancer on basis of the above factors. The type of treatment is as follows:
- Surgery: Patients with early detection of liver cancer having healthy liver can undergo surgery to resect the infected area of liver.
- Cryosurgery: It is a type of surgery where the tumor is freeze using metal probe and destroy the cancer cells
- Radiofrequency Ablation: It uses a special probe that destroys cancer cells using heated needle. The procedure is performed under ultrasound or laparoscopic guidance
- Chemotherapy or Chemoembolization: It uses drugs that are anti-cancer to destroy the cancer cells. In some cases, the chemotherapy is injected directly into the liver tumor
- Oral Chemotherapy Drugs: Sorafenib is an oral medication for use in advanced cases of liver cancer.
Is it possible to do a liver transplant for patient with liver cancer?
Doctors usually combine different methods to treat liver cancer most effectively. Though surgery is the best way to treat cancer, but when the surgery alone is not enough to cure cancer completely, Doctors suggest liver transplantation.