Liver cancer is the most common carcinoma of liver cells, the main tumor that grows in the liver and is not caused by the spread of other organs in the body. Liver cancer starts in the liver cells. The liver is the organ in the upper right part of the abdomen below the diaphragm.
Not all cancers that affect the liver are called liver cancer. Cancer that arises from other organs in the body such as the intestines, lungs, or breasts and then spreads to the liver is called metastatic cancer or cancer that spreads.
Symptoms of liver cancer, the cause of liver cancer, and liver cancer drugs, will be described further below.
Liver cancer is more common in men than women, in people aged 50 to 70 years. Diagnosis early will make healing more effective. You can reduce the likelihood of suffering from liver cancer by reducing risk factors. Please consult with your doctor for more information.
Most of the causes of liver cancer are not well defined. However, in many cases, the cause may be due to hepatitis that leads to liver cancer.
Other common causes include cirrhosis or liver damage due to alcohol abuse, obesity, or fatty liver. Liver cancer occurs when liver cells mutate and alter metabolism in the body. These cells will begin to lose control and form a tumor.
Symptoms & Signs
What are the signs and symptoms of liver cancer?
One in three patients showed no early symptoms of primary liver cancer. Here are the signs and symptoms that usually appear:
- weight loss drastically
- nauseous vomit
- pain in the abdomen
- an enlarged abdomen
- jaundice ( jaundice)
- pale feces
- There may still be other symptoms that have not been mentioned above. If you have concerns about any of the symptoms, please consult a doctor.
What increases my risk for liver cancer?
The following factors can increase the risk of liver cancer:
have chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C: chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) may increase the risk of liver cancer
cirrhosis: this situation forms a wound in the liver tissue and increases the risk of developing liver cancer
hereditary diseases: a liver disease where there is excess iron ( hemochromatosis syndrome ), Wilson's disease
diabetes: People who have blood sugar disorders will have a higher risk of developing liver cancer than people who do not have diabetes
Nonalcoholic liver fat: the accumulation of fat in the liver can lead to liver cancer
exposed to aflatoxin is a harmful toxin in foods made from corn and nuts
alcohol abuse: daily alcohol consumption over the years will lead to liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer
obesity can also increase the risk of liver cancer and can lead to fatty liver disease and cirrhosis
When should I see a doctor?
If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, or you have any questions or concerns, please consult your doctor. Status and conditions may vary by person. Always discuss with your doctor to undergo the best diagnostic, treatment, n and treatment methods for you.
Medication & Treatment
What are my treatment options for liver cancer?
Treatment of liver cancer depends on the level of disease, age, and health condition. Surgery is the most optimal treatment, but most patients can not undergo surgery because of cirrhosis or a tumor that has spread. Small tumors (less than 5cm) can be operated in order not to spread and the liver can function normally again.
Inoperable patients can be treated with other methods including with chemotherapy drugs injected into the arteries, so that blood pumps ethanol directly into the tumor and destroys it.
People who have tumors that have become enlarged or have severe liver damage can perform liver transplants from donors
What are the usual tests for liver cancer?
Diagnosis is often difficult because the cancer of the liver epithelial tissue often does not show any symptoms in the early stages of cancer. To diagnose, the doctor may perform an AFP blood test (alpha-fetoprotein) or liver function checks in people suffering from cirrhosis or hepatitis B and C. However, this test is still uncertain as not all who have carcinoma in liver cells also show abnormal blood tests. Thus, doctors can combine with other test results such as ultrasound, CT scan or MRI of the liver. If an ultrasound image shows a tumor, then the doctor should perform a biopsy on the liver, which takes a small tissue sample of the problematic part of the needle then studied under a microscope to search for cancer cells
Treatment at home
What are the lifestyle changes or home remedies that can be done to treat liver cancer?
Here are the lifestyle and home remedies that can help you overcome liver cancer:
- make an appointment again to monitor the progress of your symptoms and your health
- obey doctor's advice, not indiscriminate treatment. Do not leave the prescribed medication given to you
- learn to recognize liver cancer in order to make the right treatment decisions
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.