Our liver is one of the most important organs in the human body located in the right upper part of the abdomen just beneath the diaphragm. The liver performs a wide spectrum of functions which include maintaining and regulating the storage of glycogen, production of hormones, plasma proteins, RBC decomposition, detoxification and production of bile that helps in digestion.
There are mainly two types of Liver cancer:
1. Primary Liver Cancer: Cancer that originates in the liver cells itself is called Primary liver cancer.
There are two types of primary liver cancer:
2. Secondary Liver Cancer: cancer that originates in the other parts of the body but then spread to the liver (known as metastasis)
Initially, your liver cancer does not produce any signs and symptoms but when they appear, it includes
Once the liver cancer is diagnosed, it is important to know the stage of cancer to plan appropriate treatment to get out of it in time. There are 4 stages of liver cancer.
Stage I: Single cancer tumor confined to the liver and has not spread to other parts.
Stage II: Cancer with either single tumorthat has spread to blood vessels or multiple tumors of less than 5 cm that has not invade blood vessels.
Stage III: It has 3 sub-stages:
Stage IV: 2 sub-stages:
Cancer occurs when DNA of the cells undergo mutation and these mutated cells then grow without control in an abnormal way giving rise to the tumor.
The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown but like other cancers, there are certain risk factors that may lead to cause liver cancer. These are;
Liver surgery in India is the most commonly performed procedure for liver cancer. There are mainly two types of surgical procedures:
Cryoablation(a process that uses extreme cold to destroy tissue): This entails killing the cancerous cells using an instrument called cryoprobe that delivers nitrogen which freezes and kills the cells.
Radio Frequency ablation: This procedure includes insertion of the needles to reach tumor through a small incision in the abdomen and then heating the needle at very high temperature with an electric current to destroy the targeted cancerous cells.
Chemotherapy: Strong anticancer drugs are injected in the hepatic artery which is then blocked so as to cut the blood supply to the cancer cells which makes them shrink and ultimately die. This procedure is often called chemoembolization.
Radiation therapy: This Procedure is performed using the high powered energy beams, the cancer cells are targeted to shrink and die. The new advanced technique called stereotactic radiotherapy can be used to treat liver cancer.
Targeted drug therapy: The drugs that interfere with the tumor function and inhibit the advancing spread of carcinoma are used to control cancer. Sorafenib is one such drug.
An early liver cancer diagnosis drastically improves the chances of survival of patient.
In this Procedure, a doctor will, first of all, ask questions about medical history to rule out any potential risk factors for liver cancer. They will then give a physical examination, focusing on any swelling in the abdomen and any yellow colouring in the whites of the eyes. These are both strong indicators of liver problems.
If these signs are detected , if a doctor suspects a liver cancer diagnosis, they will run further tests, including:
Once the doctor has assessed the stage, location, and type of liver cancer, according to their observations they will be able to decide the likelihood of safely and effectively curing it. This will dictate the course of treatment.