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Liver Cancer Treatment

Liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is a serious malignancy that starts in the cells of the liver. It is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, leading to limited Liver Cancer Treatmentoptions and a lower survival rate. Liver cancer risk factors include chronic hepatitis B or C infections, cirrhosis, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain genetic disorders. Symptoms may not appear in the early stages, but as the disease progresses, signs such as abdominal pain, jaundice, and unexplained weight loss may occur. Liver Cancer Treatment involves surgery, liver transplant, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies, aiming to manage symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer, accounting for about 75-85% of cases. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is another primary liver cancer, originating in the bile ducts within the liver.

Types Of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma, is the most common type of liver cancer, but there are other rarer forms of liver malignancies. Understanding these types is crucial for diagnosis and Liver Cancer Treatment. Here are the primary types of liver cancer:

  1. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): HCC is the most prevalent type and typically originates in the hepatocytes, the main liver cells. It is usually associated with risk factors such as chronic hepatitis B or C infection, cirrhosis, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to aflatoxins.

  2. Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma (ICC): ICC, also known as bile duct cancer, begins in the small bile ducts inside the liver. It is less common than HCC but often diagnosed at an advanced stage, making it challenging to treat.

  3. Hepatoblastoma: This rare form of liver cancer primarily affects children, typically those under the age of 3. Hepatoblastoma is highly treatable, and with early detection and appropriate Liver Cancer Treatment, the prognosis is generally favorable.

  4. Fibrolamellar Carcinoma: This rare subtype of HCC is characterized by unique genetic and microscopic features. It tends to affect young adults and is often less aggressive than typical HCC, making surgical Liver Cancer Treatment more effective.

  5. Angiosarcoma and Hemangiosarcoma: These extremely rare forms of liver cancer arise from blood vessels within the liver. They tend to be aggressive and are often challenging to treat.

  6. Hepatic Leiomyosarcoma: This is another rare type of liver cancer, originating in smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels. Liver Cancer Treatment is often difficult, and the prognosis may be poor.

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About Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It accounts for nearly 8% of all cancer-related deaths globally. 

Symptoms Of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer, particularly in its early stages, may not exhibit noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses, however, various signs and symptoms can emerge. 

  1. Unexplained Weight Loss

  2. Abdominal Pain

  3. Jaundice

  4. Fatigue

  5. Loss of Appetite and Nausea

  6. Enlarged Liver or Abdomen

Causes Of Liver Transplant

Here are five key factors contributing to the development of liver cancer:

  1. Chronic Hepatitis B and C Infections: Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of liver cancer. These infections can persist for years, leading to liver inflammation and scarring, known as cirrhosis, which significantly increases the risk of developing HCC.

  2. Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is advanced liver scarring, often caused by various factors, including chronic viral hepatitis, excessive alcohol consumption, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and certain metabolic conditions. Cirrhosis disrupts liver function and can progress to HCC.

  3. Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Long-term and heavy alcohol consumption can damage liver cells and lead to cirrhosis. Liver Cancer Treatment is an independent risk factor for HCC. Combining excessive alcohol intake with chronic viral hepatitis further elevates the risk.

  4. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): NAFLD is a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, often associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. In its more severe form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), Liver Cancer Treatment can progress to cirrhosis and subsequently increase the risk of liver cancer.

  5. Aflatoxin Exposure: Aflatoxins are toxins produced by molds that can contaminate crops such as peanuts, corn, and rice. Prolonged exposure to aflatoxins, commonly found in regions with poor food storage conditions, can increase the risk of liver cancer.

Procedure of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer, particularly hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is a challenging disease that often requires a comprehensive approach to Liver Cancer Treatment. The choice of treatment is determined by factors such as the stage of the cancer, the patient's overall health, and the extent of liver function.

Here's a detailed look at the liver cancer treatment procedures for liver cancer:

  1. Surgery:

    • Hepatectomy: Surgical removal of a portion of the liver containing the tumor. In cases of early-stage HCC and adequate liver function, this procedure may be curative.
    • Liver Transplantation: For individuals with extensive liver disease and suitable candidates, a liver transplant may be recommended. It involves replacing the entire liver with a healthy donor liver.
    • Ablation: Various minimally invasive techniques can destroy cancerous liver tissue. This includes radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation, and ethanol injection.
  2. Chemotherapy:

    • Systemic chemotherapy is often reserved for advanced HCC. Oral medications like sorafenib and lenvatinib, as well as intravenous chemotherapy agents, may be used.
  3. Targeted Therapy:

    • Targeted therapy drugs, such as sorafenib and regorafenib, aim to block specific pathways involved in tumor growth. They are used in advanced HCC cases or for those who cannot undergo surgery of Liver Cancer Treatment.
  4. Immunotherapy:

    • Immunotherapy, like nivolumab and pembrolizumab, stimulates the immune system to target and attack cancer cells. It's an emerging Liver Cancer Treatment option for HCC.

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