Liver Cancer: Causes, Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment Delhi India | Max Hospital
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Month Red Autoclave(Infected Plastic Waste) Yellow- Incineration(AnatomicalWaste & Soiled Waste) Blue Autoclave (Glass- Bottles) Black Cytotoxic- Incineration( Cytotoxic Contaminated Items) White- Sharp Total Bags Total Weight(In KG's)
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Jun-17 1060 4511.45 902 2886.66 293 1324.05 76 194.00 2057 1100.69 4388 10016.85
Jul-17                     0 0.00
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Mar-18                     0 0.00
YTD 3159 12099.065 2884 9379.155 808 3865.69 266 668.705 5505 2530.94 12622 28543.555

Liver Cancer

Home >> Our Specialities >> Cancer Care / Oncology >> Conditions Treatments >> Liver Cancer

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What is Liver Cancer?

Liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular cancer, is a cancer that originates in the liver itself. If the cancer originates in another part of the body and spreads to the liver, it is known as liver metastases. Tumors that originate in the colon, lung, breast, pancreas, stomach, and other organs and spread to the liver through the bloodstream can also give rise to liver cancer.

What Are the Symptoms of Liver Cancer?

Initially, the liver cancer symptoms might not be visible at all. The patient will start witnessing some of the symptoms after the liver begins to swell. However, it must be noted, that there can be other reasons apart from liver cancer that can cause swelling in the liver. Below mentioned are a few symptoms that you might feel if liver cancer has been detected.

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdominal area
  • Jaundice
  • An enlarged liver
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Itching

It is advisable that you undergo a diagnosis and let the physician interpret the results.

What causes Liver Cancer?

Several causes contribute towards liver cancer. Some of the causes are listed below.

  • Cirrhosis is a condition where the liver cells are damaged and replaced with scar tissues. People with this health condition develop higher chances of liver cancer.
  • Hepatitis B infection
  • NASH or non alcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Family history can also be the cause in some cases
  • Alcohol abuse and smoking
  • Prolonged use of anabolic steroids can significantly increase the risk of developing liver cancer
  • Aflatoxins are substance made by a fungus and are found in mouldy wheat, groundnuts, corn, nuts, soybeans, and peanuts. Excess intake of these substances may lead to a tumour in liver

What Are the Types of Liver Cancer?

All types of liver cancers are serious and have a tendency to recur. There are five types of liver cancer:

  1. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): HCC or hepatoma is the most common type of liver cancer. In most cases, it occurs because ofhepatitis B or C. Cirrhosis of the liver caused due to alcohol abuse is another reason.
  2. Fibrolamellar HCC: This is a rare type of Liver cancer and more responsive to treatments.It typically occurs in young adults between the ages of 20 to 40 without any gender predilection. Unlike, Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), Fibrolamellar HCC does not have any association with cirrhosis, hepatitis or alcoholism.
  3. Cholangiocarcinoma: This type of liver cancer occurs in the bile ducts of liver, resulting in intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile duct cancer. It accounts for 10-20% of all liver cancers.
  4. Angiosarcoma: It starts in the blood vessels of the liver and proliferates. It is diagnosed at an advanced stage.
  5. Secondary liver cancer: Secondary liver cancer takes place when cancer originates in another part of the body and later spreads to the liver.

What Are the Treatment Options for Liver Cancer?

To treat liver cancer, there are two broad treatment options viz. transplant and non-transplant options.

Transplant Options

Liver transplant is a surgical treatment option where the entire liver is replaced by a healthy one through surgery. It is an extensive process and is divided into two types:

  1. Deceased Donor Liver Transplantation (DDLT): In this case, diseased liver of the patient is replaced with a healthy liver from a donor who has died recently.To avail DDLT, a patient has to go through a number of tests for the doctors to determine if the patient is fit for transplant. Once the tests are through, patients get enrolled in the waiting list for the liver transplant.
  2. Living Donor Liver Transplantation (LDLT): In this case, the patient with a diseased liver receives a part of liver from family or a friend. Patient’s damaged liver is replaced with the healthy one, which eventuallygrows on later to its normal size. It is the preferred transplant option where the patient needs immediate transplantation and a DDLT is not feasible.

Non-Transplant Options

  1. Radiofrequency Ablation: Also known as RFA, it is a non-transplant surgical option used to kill cancerous cells. It is a minimally invasive medical procedure which is performed using local anesthesia.This treatment employsimage guidance to place a needle through the skin into a liver tumor.Using a probe, a high-frequency electrical current is passed through the needle which creates heat to destroy the cancer cells. RFA has a high success rate and is the recommended treatment option where surgery is not feasible.
  2. Partial Hepatectomy: An entire part of the liver is removed, ranging from a smaller section to an entire lobe.

Chemotherapy

This treatment option is used to kill cancer cells or to prevent them from reproducing by injecting a substance or intake of pills which travels through the body. Chemoembolization( TACE- Trans Arterial chemoembolization) of the hepatic artery is another method wherein the artery is blocked to starve the tumour of blood to kill it. It is done by mixing the chemotherapy drug with another substance.

Radiotherapy

TARE- Trans arterial radioembolization and EBRT or SBRT- External beam radiotherapy or Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

Percutaneous Ethanol Injection

This is a rare liver cancer treatment method wherein 100 percent pure ethanol is injected into a tumour to destroy it. This treatment works best in cases of hepatocellular carcinoma or primary liver cancer. Interventional radiologists inject ethanol through the skin into the tumor with the help of ultrasound or CT guidance. The ethanol causes the destruction of the tumor by drawing out water (dehydrating) from the tumor cells which alter the structure of cellular proteins. By denaturing the structure of tumor cells, ethanol injections work effectively in treating some cancers.

Life after Liver Cancer Treatment

After a successful liver cancer treatment, you too can live a normal life and resume your daily activities. It is important to follow the directions given by your doctor.Post-treatment, the patient is required to make healthy choices andefforts to stay fit. It will indeed take some time for the patient to recover completely both physically and mentally. Here are a few things that can help the patient in recovering fast.

  • Take adequate rest and give some time for self
  • Do not include tasks in your work routine that require strenuous efforts from your end.
  • Avoid it for at least some time post the treatment
  • Socialize more, it will help in making you feel better
  • Exercise regularly, but moderation should be the key
  • Start having a healthy diet with lots of green vegetables and avoid junk food
  • In case of discomfort, visit the physician at the earliest

Follow Up Care after Liver Cancer Treatment

After a successful liver cancer treatment, the physician will conduct periodic medical check-ups to monitor whether the cancer has recurred. A series of physical examinations, medical tests or both the methods can be used as a follow-up care by the concerned physician. The doctor will also check whether there are any side-effects of the treatment. Whatever changes you feel in your body post the treatment, let your physician be aware of it, so that a proper follow-up care routine is designed.

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