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Liver Cancer

What is Liver Cancer?

The liver is the most crucial organ of the body which is located in the upper right portion of the abdomen and below the diaphragm. It filters blood and converts the nutrients and drugs into absorbable form. It also detoxifies various metabolites, synthesizes protein, produces necessary biochemicals for digestion, stores energy and continuously filters the blood, thus the liver becomes easily accessible to cancer cells passing in the blood stream. This multitasker organ comprises of different types of cells. There are different types of liver cell tumors that affect the liver. Some are benign but some are not. The most common liver cancer ‘hepatocellular carcinoma’ accounts for 76% of all primary cancers. It is a liver cells or hepatocytes cancer, which becomes malignant. Another type of liver cancer is hepatoblastoma (malignant), a rare cancer caused due to the formation of immature liver cells and affects children under the age of 16 and accounts for 80 % of all primary liver cancers. This cancer mostly forms in the right lobe of the liver. It can also develop in other parts of the liver like the bile ducts, blood vessels and immune cells. Cholangiocarcinoma and cholangiocellular cystadenocarcinoma are the cancers of bile duct. Angiosarcoma, hemangioendothelioma, embryonal sarcoma and fibrosarcoma cancers affect mesenchyme, a type of blood vessel. Leiomyosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma affect tissue in the liver. Other types of liver cancers are carcinosarcomas, teratomas, yolk sac tumours, carcinoid tumours and lymphomas. Some cancers found in the liver may be from other sites ( metastases).

Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer Causes

  • Viral infection,e, hepatitis C virus or Hepatitis B virus
  • Cirrhosis
  • Aflatoxin
  • High grade dysplastic nodules
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Liver fluke infection

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Liver Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms of liver cancers are:

  • Pale coloured stools, which occurs when stercobilin is absent. Stercobilin is a resultant of bilirubin metabolites.
  • Dark coloured urine. It occurs when bilirubin combines with the urine
  • Jaundice
  • An intense itch is common who have liver failure
  • Swelling in the abdomen, ankles and feet because of absent albumin
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Bruising and easy bleeding
  • Pain in the upper right part due to stretching of Glisson’s capsule in hepatitis and pre-eclampsia.
  • In Cholangiocarcinoma sweating, jaundice, abdominal pain, weight loss and liver enlargement.
  • In Hepatocellular carcinoma, there is presence of an abdominal mass, abdominal pain, emesis, anemia, back pain, jaundice, itching, weight loss and fever.

Risk factors for Developing Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer Risks Fctors

Other risk factors for liver cancer may include:

  • Men suffer from hepatocellular carcinoma more than women.
  • Obesity increases the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma
  • It is common in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
  • Due to long term use of anabolic steroid which can slightly increase liver cancer risk
  • History of diabetes and fatty liver disease
  • Inherited metabolic diseases.
  • Rare diseases such as antitrypsin alpha -1 deficiency, tyrosinemia, and Wilson’s disease.

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Diagnosis of Liver Cancer

Depending on the symptoms, the doctor will perform certain blood and imaging tests to determine or confirm liver cancer.

1. Liver Biopsy: In this, a little liver tissue is removed with the help of a needle and sent for examination.

2. Blood test: This test overall checks the general health and increased chemical levels in people with primary liver cancer.

3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI scans are very helpful in detecting liver tumors. At times they can even distinguish a benign tumor from a malignant one. They are also helpful to observe the blood vessels in and around the liver, and indicate if the liver cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

4. Computed Tomography Scan: A CT scan of the abdomen helps identify many types of liver tumors. It provides precise information about the size, shape, and position of any tumors in the liver or elsewhere in the abdomen, as well as nearby blood vessels. CT scans are also helpful in guiding a biopsy needle precisely into a suspected tumor.

Available Treatments for Liver Cancer in India

India has numerous accredited hospitals which render a variety of treatments for liver cancer. It includes Cryosurgical Ablation, Brachytherapy, Percutaneous Ablation, Photodynamic Therapy, Combined Immunotherapy, Trans-arterial Chemoembolization & Liver transplantation. The cost of liver transplantation surgery in India is very affordable as compared to the western countries.

Why IndianMedTrip for Liver Cancer Treatment?

Patients can seek unprejudiced medical opinions about their medical condition and treatment from liver cancer experts in India through Indianmedtrip. IndianMedTrip offers cost-effective treatment packages from top trusted cancer hospitals in India. These hospitals are internationally accredited and render world-class medical facilities and special personalized care. Associated hepatologists, pathologists and liver surgeons are highly qualified and skilled in their respective specialty. The Indianmedtrip medical tourism program includes pre or postoperative consultation with doctors, surgery appointment, accommodation, travel and sightseeing.


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