Liver Cancer- Cause and Symptoms By James Cash

By: mauvine jezzel

Metastic hepatic carcinoma better known as liver cancer is a very rare form of cancer in the western world (1% of all cancers) but much more { frequent| common { in Africa and parts of Asia (10% to 50% of all cancers).It is much more prevalent in men and incidence increases with age. Liver cancer is quickly fatal, usually within six months from gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hepatic failure or metastasis.

Most primary liver tumors are known as hepatomas (hepatocellular carcinoma and primary lower cell carcinoma). Some hepatomas liver cancers originate in the bile duct and these are known as cholangiomas. Some rare liver cancers include Kupffer cell sarcoma and hepatoblastomas (which occur almost exclusively in children and are usually respectable and curable). Metastatic liver cancer is twenty times more common than primary liver cancer and after cirrhosis this is the leading form of liver related to death.

Symptoms and Signs
{ Until advanced stages liver cancer does not normally cause symptoms.| Liver cancer does not normally cause symptoms until it is in an late stage.
Clinical effects of advanced liver cancers include:
1. A mass in the right upper side.
2. Tender, nodular liver on palpation
3. Severe pain in the epigastrium or upper right side
4. Weight loss, anorexia, weakness, fever
5. Occasional jaundice or ascites (fluid in the abdomen)

Liver cancer in children maybe a genetic disease but the cause in adults is unknown. Adult liver carcinomas may result from environmental exposure to carcinogens such as mold, contrast media (no longer in use), androgens and oral estrogens, the hepatitis B virus or by damage to the liver due to cirrhosis caused by too much prolonged imbibing of alcohol.

Liver cancer is difficult to diagnose in the presence of cirrhosis, but several tests can help identify it: The combination of an imaging study (ultrasound, CT, or MRI scans) and an raised blood level of alpha-fetoprotein will most effectively diagnose liver cancer, electrolyte studies may indicate increased sodium retention, a liver biopsy can make a definitive diagnosis.

Treatments for primary liver cancer depend on the extent (stage) of the disease, age, overall health, feelings and personal preferences. Surgery is the most effective treatment for primary liver cancer, but this isn't always possible due to the size or location of the tumor. Radiofrequency ablation is an option for people with small, unresectable hepatocellular tumors and for numerous types of metastatic liver cancers. During this procedure, the hepatic artery (the artery from which liver cancers derive their blood supply) is blocked, and chemotherapy drugs are injected between the blockage and the liver. Cryoablation maybe an option for people with inoperable primary and metastatic liver cancers. Replacing the whole liver with a transplant is another possible form of treatment for primary liver cancer.

Even if the treatment doesn't provide significant improvement to the liver cancer itself, it reduce signs and symptoms, like pain, to improve the quality of life. In general, the treatments available for children are the same as for adults, and the best approach depends on the stage and type of cancer as well as the child's age and overall health.

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