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Liver Cancer

  • Overview Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment
Overview

Liver cancer, also known as hepatic cancer, affects the liver. These are malignant tumors that grow on the surface of/or inside the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (or hepatoma or HCC), which tends to affect men more than women.

Liver cancer which is detected and treated early is associated with the best clinical outcomes. In few cases, surgery or a liver transplant is recommended to treat liver cancer depending on the patient's medical condition.

For the treatment of Liver Cancer, if the patient prefers not to opt for a surgery, CyberKnife radiosurgery is another effective tool for the treatment of primary and metastatic liver cancer.

Symptoms

Liver cancer does not usually produce symptoms in the early stages. The symptoms of liver cancer are often similar to that of noncancerous liver diseases.

The following are the symptoms that manifest when a person suffers from liver cancer:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain or tenderness in the right upper part of abdomen or stomach area
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Bleeding
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
Causes

Though the exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, it is usually linked to damage and scarring of the liver. Below are some causes that result in the occurrence of liver cancer among individuals -  Aflatoxins, Cirrhosis, Diabetes, Family history, Liver disease, Inherited liver disease, Low immunity, Obesity, Smoking and Water wells with arsenic.

Liver cancer does not always produce symptoms in the early stages. The symptoms of liver cancer may seem vague or similar to that of noncancerous diseases. In such cases of suspicion, consulting a Liver specialist is highly recommended.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of a liver cancer may begin by reviewing the patient's medical history, completing a physical examination, and conducting some tests. Which is usually followed by the HCC screening, the high-risk individuals (hepatocellular carcinoma) should have regular screenings for liver cancer. 

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Blood test
  • Imaging scans like CT or MRI
  • Biopsy
  • Laparoscopy
Treatment

Treatment of liver cancer largely depends on the stage and type of liver cancer and if there is liver cirrhosis. For patients who may not want to opt for a surgery, the CyberKnife is a highly effective tool and treatment for both primary and metastatic forms of liver cancer.

CyberKnife combines the stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with a high-dose radiation treatment sparing the healthy tissues around the tumor and precisely targets just the affected area. It is a painless procedure and largely performed on an outpatient basis.