Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer


Liver is the most vital organ required for detoxification of many toxins that comes into the body. Liver cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide. The most riskiest class among people with liver disease are chronic drinkers and hepatitis infectious individuals and those suffered from hemochromatosis.

An abnormal proliferation or growth of hepatic cells leading to abnormally found cells with a solid mass is known as Liver Cancer. The hepatic cancers depend on different type of cells being affected because liver is the combination of many types of cells and its physiological variation is too wide. Most liver cancers are benign in nature because they grow large enough to cause problems without invading nearby tissues, and they usually respond well to the treatment options that are currently available in the clinical science.

A diagnosis of liver cancer is made based on the patient's history and physical examination, blood workup and imaging modalities such as ultrasonography and commuted tomography scan. A patient with increased alpha fetoprotein (AFP) is more likely to have liver cancer. Alpha fetoprotein is a type of protein that is produced in the liver of a developing fetus. It is rarely produced by the liver of a normal adult person. It is used as tumor marker for liver cancer because an elevation on AFP levels would point to abnormal liver cell activity. Increased AFP levels could be accompanied by increased levels of bilirubin causing the yellow discoloration of the skin.

Diagnosis could be further strengthen with an imaging modality. Ultrasonography is the cheapest choice to visualize a presence of tumor mass, however it is an operator dependent and could not provide a clear view and location of the mass or tumor. Commuted tomography scan is a better choice because it provides better view of the tumor in a 3D image. A biopsy resulting positive of hepatic liver carcinoma could confirm the diagnosis for liver cancer.

Liver cancer when caught early could be managed with surgery with a slightly higher cure rate in comparison to those diagnosed late. However, the cure rate of surgery, in general, however is still relatively low. Mortality rates have been on a high side over the last two decades. Needless to say, liver cancer is one type of cancer that is dreadful, yet could be prevented with proper lifestyle choices. Staying away from alcohol, a regular checkup and regular exercise could help a person to prevent development of liver cancer. Furthermore, increase awareness of liver cancer, its causes and effects are also a big boost on the push to prevent increased incidence of this disease.

Liver cancer is usually a result of chronic liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a chronic process of liver cell damage that results in degeneration and thickening of the liver cells. It usually presents after 10-20 years from the initial liver cells insult. Some of the most common reasons of liver cell damage are hepatitis C infection, hepatitis B infection, and chronic alcohol consumption. Those persons who have at least 10 years of consuming pf of at least 80 grams of alcohol per day have a 5 time increased risk of developing liver cancer.

Liver cancer usually presents late in life and oftentimes, it is diagnosed on a stage where little could be done to cure the disease. A patient with liver cancer could have symptoms of increasing abdominal girth accompanied with feeling of abdominal fullness attributed to the developing ascites or fluid in the abdominal cavity. There could also be jaundice or yellowing of the skin, generalized pruritus or itchiness, weakness, loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss.

What causes liver cancer?

  1. If you are an athlete, stay away from anabolic steroids lifters. Using these male hormones periodically may eventually cause one to have a cancer in the liver.

  2. Food that are toxins related are transferred from GI tract can put one at risk for liver cancers.

  3. Cirrhosis of liver or alcoholic liver is a global disaster because cirrhosis damage liver cells, and the mutation could gradually lead to liver cancers. In such case, the normal cells are damaged and replaced with scar tissue.

  4. Inherited liver disease: people with hepatitis B or C have a significantly higher risk of developing liver cancer, compared to other healthy individuals. Family history: people whose immediate family have liver cancer usually are at higher risk of developing liver or hepatic cancer. Hepatitis C is the most common cause of liver cancer in the US. Some inherited liver diseases also increase the risk of liver cancer.

  5. Immunocompromised state: in case of hepatitis, HIV infection, long term steroidal usage, nephritic syndrome, and frequent infections can cause liver cancer. Obesity is another factor for liver cells cirrhosis.

  6. Smoking: Individuals with hepatitis B or C have a higher risk of developing liver cancer if they smoke.

  7. Diabetes: Hyperglycemic patients with alcohol consumption, and prolonged use of insulin can be a factor to develop hepatic cancer. Men, in general, are more prone to liver cancer than women.

How to treat liver cancer

  1. Some liver cancers are treatable, some not. Surgery and liver transplantation is one option.

  2. Non treatable cancers maybe treated by ablative therapy, radiation therapy (radiotherapy), and chemotherapy.

  3. People with liver issues needs to avoid alcohol consumption, eat more vegetables, and use natural medicines such as avocado and juice of spirulina.