Liver Cancer is a type of cancer that spreads from the liver to other body parts and is known as metastatic cancer. This type of cancer is caused by high number of growth of the cells. Liver is an organ that cleans the blood, makes bile, regulates blood sugar levels and helps in blood clotting.
- Liver scarring (cirrhosis) from alcohol use or having hepatitis C
- Hepatitis B
- Exposure to chemicals
- Use of tobacco
- Stomach pain
- Feeling full or bloated
- Not feeling hungry
- Upset stomach
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Losing weight
Following tests might be recommended to you if your doctor suspects you to have liver cancer;
- CT Scan
- Blood Tests
These tests are important but a biopsy is the only way to know for sure if you have cancer. A biopsy:
- Looks at a piece of the liver for cancer cells
- Is used to find out the cancer type, how normal it is [grade], and if it has spread
- May look at samples from lymph nodes to check for cancer
The pathology report gives a detailed analysis of the result of the biopsy typically after a week after the test is conducted.
To guide treatment, liver cancer is “staged.” This stage is based on
- Size and location of the tumor
- Whether cancer cells are in the lymph nodes
- Whether cancer cells are in other parts of the body
Stages range from stage I (smallest, most confined tumors) to stage IV (tumors that have spread to other parts of the body, also called metastatic cancer). The stage of liver cancer will guide your treatment plan.
Following are the treatments often used to treat the liver cancer:
- Removal of the Liver Cancer Tumor by Surgery.
- Liver Transplant Surgery
- Interventional Radiology Procedures. Patients who cannot have surgery can undergo cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation, ethanol injections, transarterial chemoembolization and radioembolization.
- Radiation and chemotherapy are not often used but can be used to treat areas of metastasis