Liver Cancer is Deadly
The liver is the second biggest organ in the human body. It’s function is detoxifying substances, metabolizing carbohydrates as well as fats and proteins, and secreting bile. Cancer of the liver usually occurs when malignant cells invade it from another part of the body. Because of the vital role the liver plays, cancer of the liver is considered to be one of the deadliest killers.
Most liver cancers are considered secondary. Primary cancer of the liver is the one originated from the liver, while secondary cancer of the liver is the cancer that spread to the liver and originated from another part of the body. Early detection can increase survival rate by 40% to 50%.
About 600,000 patients with such cancer appear every year. Heavy drinking is the major culprit of its occurrence, but it is not always the case. There are other factors that cause other disease to manifest that eventually affect the liver. In Asia and Africa, the cancer affects 50 or more individuals per 100,000 each year. The cases are usually related to cirrhosis due to viruses of hepatitis. In the US, cancer of the liver is uncommon, affecting only around two people in 100,000, although among consumers of heavy amounts of alcohol incidence is higher.
Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer
Liver cancer does not show any signs during its early stages, but as the diseases progresses there are some common symptoms that might be mistaken for another lighter disease. On the onset of the manifestations of the symptoms, it is recommended to consult the doctor immediately.
If you notice weight loss, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), pain or discomfort or both on the abdomen’s right side, pain or discomfort or both in the right shoulder blade, and loss of appetite, then you should schedule a check up. There is a possibility that they are signs of liver cancer.
Causes and Prevention
One of the major causes of liver cancer is excessive alcohol drinking. Taking alcohol in right amount is necessary to maintain healthy body, but if you abuse it then expect your body to be punished. Taking foods with carcinogens can be fatal and all things that might lead to hepatitis or cirrhosis which can eventually introduce the cancer to your body.
Understand that men and women can be inflicted with the disease and there are factors such as genetics and exposure to cancer causing chemicals that are impossible to avoid. But there are lifestyle changes and healthy diet that can help reduce the risk and hopefully prevent it from occurring.
In order to prevent liver cancer from invading your body, you need to make certain that you will do everything to avoid contacting hepatitis that might lead to cirrhosis. Stay away from carcinogens and chemicals that are harmful to the body. Watch your alcohol intake and keep everything in moderation. Don’t miss out on your workout or exercise and always have a regular physical check up to make sure that your body is always fit and healthy.
Different Ways to Check the Cancer
– Ultrasound diagnosis – Applies ultrasonography to know the possible tumor size and find out if there is a lesion with diameter of 2 cm.
– CT check – Features high resolution that can detect cancer in its early stage.
– Radio isotopic hepatic scanning – Can show any liver enlargement, but can hardly point out less than 3 cm. tumor.
– MRI – Has high sensitivity that can distinguish malignant and benign tumor without any trouble.
– Selective celiac or hepatic arteriography – Can easily locate tumor with 0.5 to 1 cm. diameter. This way of checking is very useful in locating tumor.
STAGES OF LIVER CANCER
Treatment of liver cancer might not be the same with all the patients that have it. Different stages of the cancer require different treatments. There are treatments that use chemotherapy and some might include new treatment methods. Before a patient undergoes to a particular treatment, the doctor must discuss everything and choose the bet option to take.
Partial hepatectomy is done by surgically removing the liver’s cancerous part to prevent cancer cells from spreading further.
In liver transplant procedure, the liver that must meet certain criteria before the recipient can have it. The donor can be a family member or a total stranger. Take note that liver transplant is only for select patients.
Radiofrequency ablation makes use of probe wit tiny electrodes that can actually attack and destroy cancer cells.
Modern Science does not stop and has no intention to stop researching and developing new and more effective methods to stop cancer. You can be certain that studies are ongoing in an attempt to discover more effective treatments.