What is liver cancer?
It is the cancer that starts to develop in the liver cells. Not every cancer which affects your liver is liver cancer, as cancer that starts in some other body part for example breast, lung or colon, later spreads to your liver is termed as metastatic cancer.
What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
Usually, individuals do not observe any signs it their initial stages, however when symptoms do tend to appear, they can be:
- Abdominal swelling.
- Intentional weight loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Chalky, white stools.
- Jaundice, yellow discoloration (sclera and skin).
- General weakness.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Upper abdominal pain.
What causes liver cancer?
What exactly causes liver cancer remains a mystery, however in few instances, its cause is identified. For example, chronic infection along with some hepatitis viruses leads liver cancer.
Mutation in the DNA of liver cells causes liver cancer. DNA is basically the material responsible for providing directions for all chemical process that occurs in our body. Mutation of DNA creates changes in such directions, causing the cells to grow and divide abnormally, eventually forming a tumor.
What are the risk factors of liver cancer?
Certain factors known to increase the chances of developing liver cancer are:
- Some inherited liver diseases for example Wilson’s disease and hemochromatosis.
- Chronic infection with hepatitis C or B virus.
- People suffering from diabetes are at a greater risk of liver cancer as compared to those who do not this disorder of blood sugar.
- The continuous and permanent condition cirrhosis causes the formation of scar tissue in the liver, making you more likely to experience liver cancer.
- Consuming excessive amount of alcohol.
- Exposure to aflatoxins.
How is liver cancer diagnosed?
Certain procedures and tests your doctor can suggest for diagnosing the fatal disease are:
- Liver biopsy.
- Imaging tests.
- Blood tests.
After being diagnosed with liver cancer, the doctor will then take steps in order to identify what stage, say extent, the cancer has reached. This will help the doctor determine the cancer’s location and size. This will also help him find out whether or not cancer has spread. For the purpose, he will suggest imaging tests that will include bone scan, MRT and CT.
How is liver cancer treated?
The treatment of liver cancer tends to depend upon certain factors:
- Your stage.
- Treatment preferences.
- Overall heath.
- Your age.
Few of its treatment options are:
- Liver transplant surgery.
- Surgery for removing a particular portion of your liver.
- Freezing cancer cells.
- Heating cancer cells.
- Targeted drug therapy.
- Radiation therapy.
- Injecting alcohol and chemotherapy drugs into the tumor and liver respectively.
- Quit consuming alcohol, or drink in moderation.
- Shed extra pounds through regular exercise and healthy diet plan.
- In case of being at a risk, consult your doctor for its prevention.
By : Natural Health News