Liver Cancer: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cancer is a condition wherein the normal cells located in the liver of a human body turn into abnormal and pose a malignant threat, with changing behavior as well as appearance. These abnormal cells then start destroying the normal tissues and then start spreading to other parts of the liver as well as other organs in the body too. Generally, the commencement of the abnormal cells start in the normal cells of the liver, and this type of liver cancer is called hepatocellular carcinoma, whereas in some cases the cancerous cells start developing in the ducts of one’s liver, and hence, it is known as cholangiaocarcinoma.
Other than this, there is also metastatic cancer in the liver, wherein the cancer hasn’t originated from the liver, but originated from some other part of the body and spread to other secondary parts, including the liver through the bloodstreams of liver. Generally, the organs from where the cancer can spread and reach the liver, making a person develop liver cancer include, pancreas, ovary, breast, colon, lungs, stomach, bladder, as well as kidney. Additionally, metastatic liver cancer is the one wherein the cancer originates from the liver and then spread to other parts of the body.
Coming to the causes of liver cancer, it has been said that mainly people who suffer from a chronic liver disease are more likely develop liver cancer that is cirrhosis, which is mainly caused by long term alcohol consumption, hepatitis B, as well as hepatitis C. Additionally, environment, genetics, and lifestyle too are factors that also contribute to the risks of developing liver cancer.
Coming to the symptoms of liver cancer, there are no primary signs of its own, but as the malignant tumor starts growing, the person begins to experience pain in the right area of the abdomen and also feel like they are full already when they are eating. There can also be acute jaundice, unexplained weight loss, and loss of appetite. Liver can be diagnosed by liver biopsy, blood tests, as well as imaging studies.
After staging of liver cancer, doctors decide which treatment to adhere to, which is also based on the overall condition of the person’s liver. Treatment options are surgery, ablation therapy, embolization, targeted agent, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and lastly, liver transplant.
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