The liver is responsible for filtering out blood coming from the digestive system. It is large and weighs almost three pounds located on the right side of the abdomen. It aids in detoxifying the chemicals and metabolizing the drugs. It is also responsible for synthesizing proteins responsible for blood clotting and various function in the body. |
Functions of the Liver:
Helps in bile production which aids in eliminating waste, and while absorption it breaks down fats in the small intestine. Helps in the creation of specific proteins required for blood plasma Helps in the production of cholesterol and proteins to help bring fats through the body Helps in converting the excess amount of glucose transformed into glycogen used for storing and balancing the glucose according to the need to be generated in the body. Helps in converting toxic ammonia into urea which is the end product and excreted from the body as urine. Helps in regulating blood clots. Helps to resist infections and eliminates the bacteria from the blood. Helps in Regulating the blood levels of amino acids, which are building blocks of proteins. What is Liver Cancer?
Liver cancer is also like other cancers where abnormal cells are grown more than needed cells. They can be either differentiated into benign or malignant cells. It is prevalent in the age group above 50 years of age.
Types of Liver Cancer: Primary and Secondary Liver Cancer
The primary type of cancer includes the following: Hepatocellular cancer: This is the most common type of cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma. These cancers occur to those individuals who have chronic liver diseases like cirrhosis. This kind of cancer is more evident in people who are alcoholic and has fatty liver. Bile duct cancer: 10 - 20% of cancers in the liver are intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. This cancer originates from the cells which line the small bile ducts. Liver angiosarcoma: The rarest kind of liver cancer found in the blood vessels of the liver. Usually, this type of cancer is diagnosed in the advanced stage which spreads quickly. Hepatoblastoma: This kind of cancer is rarely found in children below five years of age. If the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, then the survival rate is 90%. The secondary type of cancer called metastatic cancers because these cells do not emerge from the liver. But the spread is from somewhere else like the pancreas, lung, brain, stomach. These cancers are treated from the point of origin and not as liver cancer but from the primary site. Symptoms of Liver Cancer:
Nausea/ Vomiting Bleeding Jaundice Chalky stools Weakness in the body/ Weight loss Giddiness Abdomen pain Causes of Liver Cancer:
Genetic factors Cirrhosis Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Hemochromatosis Fatty liver disease Obesity Use of tobacco Stages of Liver cancer:
Stage 1: The cancer cells are just in the liver and has not spread to other parts.
Stage 2: In this stage, there are some small-sized cancer cells but all lies within the liver.
Stage 3: In this stage, many colossal cancer cells may have reached the main blood vessel. These cells may have also affected the gall bladder.
Stage 4: This stage is the most dangerous because it may have spread to various parts of the body.
Treatment of Liver Cancer in India:
Surgery: This is method involves eliminating the cancerous cell is to do surgery or by a liver transplant based on the type and condition of the liver. Partial hepatectomy is a surgery that involves removing the affected part of the liver. It is conducted by skilled surgeons and under the strict supervision of experts. There are risks and complications associated with surgery like bleeding, clotting, infection, and pneumonia. Liver Transplant: A liver transplant is an option for those patients whose cancer cannot be removed by surgery. Most of the livers come from the patients that have died but some come from the living donor. Ablation: In ablation, the cancerous cells are destroyed, without removing them. This kind of treatment is performed for tumors less than 3 cm. This can be performed by just inserting a needle or probe with the guide of CT or Ultrasound. Embolization Therapy: In embolization, directly injecting the substances to the artery of the liver to obstruct the flowing blood into the tumor. Usually, treated for patients having tumors larger than 5cm. Radiation Therapy: In radiation, it uses highly energized rays to destroy cancerous cells. This is on patients whose liver has been damaged by cirrhosis and Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Targeted Drug Therapy: In this therapy, the drugs block the kinase proteins that are responsible for the growth of tumor cells. Drugs such as Sorafenib and Lenvatinib used commonly. Immunotherapy: In this therapy, drugs are used to help the immune system to spot and destroy the malignant cells on its own. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of medications to destroy cancerous cells. And this option is used for those patients whose treatment cannot be done by the other local therapies or surgery. Sometimes the combination of 2-3 drugs are used and the most common type of drugs are as follows Gemzar, Oxaliplatin, Eloxatin, Cisplatin, Doxorubicin, Mitoxantrone. Side- effects of Liver Cancer Treatment:
Loss of hair Mouth sores Infections Diarrhea Nausea Loss of appetite Bleeding The cost of Liver Cancer Treatment in India is comparatively lower than in other western countries and ranges from USD 2000-4000 at the best hospitals.
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