He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What is Liver Cancer?
- What Causes Liver Cancer?
- What are the Symptoms of Liver Cancer?
- How is Liver Cancer Diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of Liver Cancer?
- What is the Treatment for Liver Cancer?
What is Liver Cancer?
The growth of cancer cells in the liver is termed liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most frequent kind of liver cancer, and it starts in the major type of liver cell (hepatocyte). Other types of liver cancer are significantly less prevalent, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma.
What Causes Liver Cancer?
The etiology of most liver cancers is not known yet.
Liver cancer develops when the DNA of healthy liver cells undergoes mutations. With time, the cancer cells can grow to invade and destroy normal tissue nearby. They can also travel to other body parts to form deposits there (metastasis).
Certain risk factors for HCC include:
- Chronic infection with HBV or HCV
- Cirrhosis-It is an irreversible condition that causes scar tissue to form in the liver and increases the chances of developing liver cancer.
- Inherited liver diseases- Diseases such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease can increase the risk of cancer.
- Diabetes-Diabetic people have a greater risk of liver cancer compared to ordinary people.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease- An increase in fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.
- Aflatoxin exposure- Aflatoxin may contaminate crops like grains and nuts, which can then wind up in meals manufactured from these goods.
- Excessive alcohol intake—Daily drinking of more than a modest amount of alcohol might cause permanent liver damage and raise the risk of liver cancer over time.
What are the Symptoms of Liver Cancer?
In the early stages of primary liver cancer, most patients show no signs or symptoms. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include the following:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Upper abdominal discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and lethargy
- Stomach bloating
- Chalky white stools
How is Liver Cancer Diagnosed?
- Imaging tests: MRI, CT scan and PET Scan can be done to view the internal picture of the abdomen. It helps visualise internal organs properly.
- Endoscopy: A flexible, lighted tube is inserted through the mouth to view the gastrointestinal tract.
- Biopsy: A small piece of the suspicious tissue is taken to study under the microscope to view the cellular changes, if any. It can be done along with endoscopy.
- Blood tests can be done to spot specific enzymes.
What are the Complications of Liver Cancer?
A variety of issues can arise from liver cancer. They can be caused by a tumour pressing on the bile duct or other organs, hormones released by cancer cells, liver malfunction resulting in a build-up of toxins in the body, or other reasons.
- Anemia: It may be caused by several circumstances, including a shortage of clotting factors in the blood, which causes bleeding. Because liver cancer can cause erythrocytosis (an increase in red blood cell formation), these effects might occasionally cancel each other out.
- Bile duct obstruction: Tumors of the liver or bile ducts can develop within a duct or exert pressure near one, causing bile duct blockage. When a duct becomes clogged, intense and continuous discomfort in the right upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, and itching commonly follow.
- Bleeding: Liver is responsible for producing many clotting factors, a lack of which can lead to unstoppable bleeding.
- Portal hypertension
- Hypercalcemia: Liver cancer can cause a high calcium level in the blood (hypercalcemia of malignancy). If not addressed, this can lead to nausea, vomiting, acute muscular weakness, and disorientation, leading to coma and even death.
- Hepatorenal syndrome: Hepatorenal syndrome occurs when liver illness leads to kidney disease due to abnormalities in blood vessels and decreased blood supply to the kidneys.
What is the Treatment for Liver Cancer?
- Surgery: The liver may be partially or entirely removed. In the latter cases, liver transplant surgery is performed.
- Radiation treatment: Radiation is used to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy. Drugs that kill cancer cells everywhere over the body, usually in conjunction with radiation therapy or surgery.
- Targeted therapy: Includes new treatments like alcohol injection in the tumour targeting specific aspects of cancer to curb cancer growth and spread.
- Immunotherapy: Aids the immune system in its fight against cancer cells.
- Photodynamic treatment: A particular laser light is used to target cancer cells.
- Electrocoagulation: Electric current is used to kill cancer cells.
- Cryotherapy: Freezes cancer cells to aid tumour shrinkage.