Liver cancer is one of the most common cancers and one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It ranks 7th in the reported number of cases and 3rd among all cancer-related mortality in terms of global incidence. In 2018 alone, nearly 840,000 new cases of liver cancer and 780,000 related deaths were recorded worldwide. Even in India, it’s emerging as one of the fastest spreading cancers, with nearly 5 cases of liver Cancer per 1,00,000 people. However, the real numbers can be much higher as India does not have any population-based data and an annual systematic cancer registry. Read on to know more about liver cancer, its types, symptoms and possible liver cancer treatment in Udaipur
to manage this disease effectively.
What is liver cancer?
Liver cancer is one the most common cancer that originates within the cells of your liver. It’s the largest glandular organ in the body that aids in several necessary body functions, such as digestion. It also stores nutrients such as glucose to ensure the body remains nourished and clear of toxins and harmful elements. But when cancer develops in the liver, its mutated cells destroy the healthy liver cells and hinders their ability to operate normally and affects body functions. Hence, patients need to consult with a liver cancer specialist in Jaipur
before it can cause severe complications within their body.
What are the types of liver cancer?
Liver cancer is classified into two main types, also known as primary or secondary liver cancer. Primary liver cancer originates within the cells of the liver. Secondary liver cancer occurs when another cancer of a nearby organ has spread to the liver. The most common type of primary liver cancer are:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma: It’s the most common liver cancer that forms in the primary liver cell called hepatocyte. It usually affects people with chronic liver diseases like cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection.
- Cholangiocarcinoma: Also known as bile duct cancer, it’s a common type of cancer that forms in the small, tube-like bile ducts that carry bile to the gallbladder.
- Liver angiosarcoma: It’s a rare form of liver cancer that develops in the blood vessels of the liver. It accounts for nearly 2% of all liver cancer cases and affects mainly older men, with high mortality in the first years
- Hepatoblastoma: It’s an extremely rare form of liver cancer that usually affects children under the age of 3. They’re usually present with an abdominal mass that resembles fetal liver cells, mature liver cells, or bile duct cells.
What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
In its early stages, liver cancer doesn’t cause any visible signs or symptoms. But as cancer progresses, various symptoms start appearing that can be easily mistaken for other liver conditions, such as jaundice. Hence, you need to be extra aware of these common symptoms of liver cancer that are likely to include:
- Pain and tenderness in the upper abdomen region
- Unexplained loss of appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Swelling in the abdominal area
- Yellow discolouration of skin and eyes, known as jaundice
- Chalky and white stools
The outcome of liver cancer is better if you get diagnosed and the oncology Treatment in Udaipur
during its initial stages. So if you experience any of these symptoms for a long time, you should consult with an oncologist immediately to ensure timely intervention.
What are the treatment options for liver cancer?
Liver cancer treatment depends on various factors, including the patient’s liver function and their alpha-fetoprotein levels. Based on the diagnosis, stage of cancer and the patient’s choice for treatment, doctors plan the most effective treatment option for each patient, which can include:
The most common treatment option involves surgically removing the tumour or the entire affected liver through various approaches, which are:
- Hepatectomy: The surgeon only removes either a portion of the liver or all of the liver to cure localised cancer. It has quite a good outcome as the remaining liver tissue regrow and replace the missing part real soon.
- Liver transplant: The surgeon replaces the damaged liver with a part of the healthy liver from a suitable donor. However, it’s only viable if cancer hasn’t spread to other organs or in its early stages.
- Ablation: The surgeon destroys the cancer cells through heat or ethanol injections by administering it directly to the tumour or the area surrounding it.
It’s the most common oncology treatment in Jaipur
that involves administering anticancer drugs directly into the body to destroy cancer cells. These drugs can be delivered through a vein or a catheter to ensure cancer cells absorb these drugs faster than normal cells.
It involves controlled radiation exposure directly to the affected area to damage or destroy cancer cells. It can also be used after surgery to destroy remaining cells and prevent a recurrence.