Liver Cancer

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It is the kind of cancer originating within the liver. A cancer in the liver might credit its occurrence to the spread from anywhere else in the body which is known as metastatic cancer. Another kind of cancer in the liver is the cells of the liver becoming cancerous themselves. This type of cancer is called as primary cancer of liver. The metastatic cancer of the liver is much common as compared to the primary cancer and every year consumes a healthy amount of patients to its symptoms or to death in worst cases.

If the liver cancer is caught at an early stage, removal of the cancer by surgery has the option to become a cure for the cancer of the liver. There may be a need of a liver transplant if a portion of liver needs to be removed courtesy to being damaged.

Liver Cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer

The cancer in the liver may cause problems if it becomes larger in size and might obstruct the vital functions of the liver. The symptomatology of the cancer of the liver often is progressive and has a tendency to worsen over time. The symptoms include:

  • Pain in the abdomen or fullness, right upper portion of the abdomen especially
  • Urine dark in color
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
  • Enlargement of the liver
  • Presence of fatigue as well as fever
  • Weakness of the muscles in general and reduction in muscle mass
  • Sweating in the night
  • Pale color of the stools
  • Ascites or collection of fluid in the abdomen resulting in swelling
  • Weight loss unexplained in nature
  • Yellowish color of skin accompanied by whites in the eyes (presence of jaundice)

A few life threatening symptoms might be:

  • Presence of blood in stools. Blood may be reddish or tarry or blackish
  • Decrease in consciousness level or alertness levels.
  • A definite change in the mental state of patients or a sudden changes in behavior like confusions, deliriums, hallucinations
  • Pain in chest, feeling of tightness or pressure in chest, palpitations
  • Tachycardia
  • Problems associated with breathing and respirations like shortness of breaths
  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Heavy bleeding, hemorrhages, bloody vomiting

Risk factors of Liver Cancer

A substantial amount of risk factors sum up together for liver cancer. Advanced age or alcohol abuse top the list of risk factors which are already known to all. A few others are:

  • Liver cirrhosis (scarring of liver)
  • Excessive iron accumulation in blood
  • Presence of diabetes
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Hemochromatosis, infections with hepatitis B or C
  • Obesity, gender (predominant in males)

Treatment of Liver Cancer

The treatment of liver cancer primarily focuses on permanent cure of the disease or bringing upon complete remission of liver cancer. Remission implies no longer appearance of any kind of signs of liver cancer in the body although chances of relapse stay afloat. There are several different kinds of therapies for the treatment. A few options are:

  • Chemotherapy for attacking the cancer cells
  • Cryosurgery for the purpose of freezing and destroying cancer cells
  • Embolization for blocking the blood flow to tumor
  • Liver transplantation in a few patients
  • Radiation therapies to attack cancerous and affected cells
  • Surgical removal of cancer