Liver cancers ( Hepatocellular carcinoma)


Liver cancers are on the most dreaded sequels of chronic viral liver infections like Hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The most common form of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma which happens with uncontrolled regeneration of of its own primary cells of liver called hepatocytes. 

The other common liver cancer is spread from other organs like colon, lung, breast , prostate etc. Though the liver cancer symptoms may not appear early but they should not be ignored and should be  to your doctor immediately.

Common cause of liver cancers: 

  1. Viral hepatitis disease
  2. Excessive consumption of alcohols
  3. Obesity and non alcohol fatty liver disease 
  4. Environmental toxins
  5. Spread from other organs ( metastatic liver disease)

Common Symptoms of liver diseases and liver cancers 

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Weight loss
  3. Pain in upper a domain
  4. Lump or swelling in upper abdomain
  5. Yellowish discolouration of eyes, palms and soles
  6. Gross enlargement of abdomain 
  7. Itching over the body and clay coloured stools

Diagnosis and investigations 

If u notice any of these common symptoms u should not ignore your symptoms meet ur clinician immediately. Usually after clinical examination, surgeons/ clinicians advice blood and urine investigations, ultrasound of the abdomain and depending upon the reports patient is advised Contrast enhanced tomography (CECT ) of the abdomain for complete examination. 

In case of livers cancer planned of major liver removal surgery or transplant surgery further CT volumetry is done to asses the liver volume and further spread of disease. 

Other investigations used are MRI ( Magnetic resonance imaging) abdomain and PET( positron emission tomography) SCAN are done for assessment, spread of disease and planning of further or treatment.

Treatment for liver surgery 

The treatment options for liver cancers is decided upon the patient disease and mutual decision of liver surgeons, cancer specialists and patient. The treatment of choice remains surgery where the tumour is removed completely ( minimal access / open liver resections) or liver transplantation depending upon stage of disease. Liver surgeries are safe with available techniques today. 

The other treatment options are target liver therapy( radio-frequency ablation, cryotherapy, targeted chemotherapy) and palliative chemotherapy.

To consult with best team of general, minimal access and transplant surgeons available at  The Surgeons House (SHL) in different global locations, please click this link for more details. 

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