Liver Cancer - its types, diagnosis, symptoms, risk factors and treatment
Liver cancer is cancer that occurs in the liver. Our liver performs many critical functions to keep our bodies free of toxins and other harmful substances and liver cancer is cancer that develops primarily in the liver.
The liver is responsible for secreting bile, a substance that helps in the digestion of fats other nutrients. It also stores nutrients to keep the body nourished when it is not eating.
When cancer forms in the liver, it naturally destroys liver cells and impedes the normal functioning of the liver.
People who seek liver cancer treatment in Delhi will be treated for either primary or secondary liver cancer. Primary liver cancer begins in the cells of the liver whereas secondary liver cancer begins if cancer cells from other organs spread to the liver.
Try and visit the best cancer hospitals in Delhi for treatment and make sure to get an expert second opinion from Delhi’s best liver cancer doctors /specialists to confirm your diagnosis and ensure optimal treatment options.
Read on to learn more about primary liver cancer
Types of primary liver cancer
The types of primary liver cancer depend on the cells that make up the liver. Primary liver cancer can begin as a single lump in the liver, or it can pop up in many places across the liver at the same time.
The types of primary liver cancer are:
< HCC, also called hepatoma, is the most common liver cancer type and almost 80 percent of all liver cancer cases are caused by HCC. This condition develops in liver cells and might spread from there to other parts of the body, such as the pancreas and stomach.
People with severely damaged livers from alcohol abuse are far more likely to develop HCC.
This is more commonly known as bile duct cancer and it begins in the bile ducts in the liver.
If the cancer begins inside the liver, it is intrahepatic bile duct cancer and if the cancer begins in the ducts outside the liver, it’s called extrahepatic bile duct cancer.
Bile duct cancer makes up another 10 to 20 percent of all liver cancer cases.
This is very rare type of liver cancer which is almost always found in children, specifically in the first three year (0-3 years) age group.
However there is hope as surgery and chemotherapy for this cancer can be very beneficial and successful. If detected early, survival rates of this liver cancer are higher than 90 percent.
This is a rare liver cancer that begins in the blood vessels of the liver and it usually progresses rapidly; this means it is invariably diagnosed at an advanced stage according to liver cancer specialists in Delhi.
Symptoms of liver cancer
Most people do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of liver cancer.However, when they begin, they could include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort, jaundice, excess bleeding and easy bruising, fatigue and weakness.
Risk Factors for liver cancer
The exact risk factors to determine why some people get liver cancer while others don’t are yet unknown. However, there are potential risk factors may increase the risk of developing liver cancer. They are age (more common in those over 50), hepatitis b and c can damage the liver, excess alcohol intake.
Cirrhosis is another type of liver damage where scarred tissue replaces healthy tissue. When the liver is scarred it won’t function properly and liver cancer becomes a genuine possibility. Most people with liver cancer have cirrhosis before the cancer develops.
Those who have diabetes or are obese are also at risk as they either or both are harmful for the liver.
How is liver cancer diagnosed?
A general health examination and medical history assessment can help gauge the extent of the problem but a liver function test is needed to determine the health of the liver by measuring the levels of proteins, bilirubin, and liver enzymes in the blood. CT scans and MRIs can help locate liver tumours and allow your doctors to clearly see the liver and to perform a more precise biopsy. Stages of cancer describe the severity of the cancer and treatment options and outlook depend on the stage; Stage 4 is the most advanced stage.
Treatment for liver cancer will depend on the number of tumours, their size and location, liver function, if cirrhosis is present and if the tumour has spread. Treatment plans are based on these factors and optionsinclude hepatectomy, which is performed to remove either a portion of the liver or all of the liver, a liver transplant, ablation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, surgery. Embolization and chemoembolization are surgery options for liver cancer as well.
Dr. Arun Kumar Giri