What Are The Risk Factors For Liver Cancer
People often ask, is liver cancer hereditary? Regardless of the fact that liver cancer deaths are primary and strong hereditary elements, a family history of the disease can escalate a persons chances of growing liver cancer. HCV and HBV infections and excessive alcohol consumption are potential risk factors for causing liver cancer. HCV and HBV can be passed on from mother to child via blood, but not via genes, surging an individuals risk of caught infection if the mother was already infected before the childs delivery. Below are some of the factors that raise the chances of developing initial or stage zero liver cancer include:
Are you experiencing any early signs of liver cancer? If yes, you should visit your doctor immediately, as the more early cancer gets detected, the easier it is to treat. If you have recently been diagnosed with liver cancer, come to University Cancer centers and receive better and immediate cancer treatment. We believe in treating every patient as our family member, and our professional yet friendly medical staff help patients in their daily tasks.
The Importance Of Early Detection
Early detection of liver cancer is usually tricky. According to doctors, early-stage liver cancer usually does not have signs and symptoms. Moreover, its difficult to see a small tumor because the ribcage covers a portion of the liver.
However, early detection is still crucial as it gives liver cancer patients more treatment options. For this reason, be in constant communication with your doctor, especially if you are at risk.
Risk factors usually include cirrhosis, hepatitis infection, and other liver diseases. So, if you are at risk, talk to your doctor about screening tests.
Learn more about Liver Cancer here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Heavy And Harmful Drinking
The liver is a tough and resilient organ. It can endure a high level of damage that would destroy other organs and is capable of regenerating itself. But despite the liver’s resilience, excessive alcohol intake over many years can damage it.
Every time you drink alcohol, your liver filters out the poisonous alcohol from your blood and some of the liver cells die. The liver can regenerate new cells, but if you drink heavily for many years, your liver will lose the ability to do this and it can become damaged and scarred over time.
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A fit and healthy father diagnosed with stage four cancer says he was left looking like the Nightmare on Elm Street after a horrific reaction to chemotherapy left him too embarrassed to go to his young sons cricket matches and is now hoping to save his life with a ground-breaking vaccine.
Geoffrey Seymour, 41, a procurement specialist, loved playing tennis, basketball and cricket and had always been healthy until just before his 41st birthday when he began experiencing blood in his stool.
Geoffrey was aware of this being a symptom for cancer from adverts on the television, so quickly went to his GP.
Geoffrey, who lives in Richmond, London, with his wife Santa, 44, and their son Marco, 10, was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer, which had spread from his colon to his liver a situation so severe and seemingly hopeless he likened it to being wrapped in a paper bag that is on fire.
He also had a bad reaction to chemotherapy severely blistering the skin on his face and, according to Geoffrey, making him look like Freddy Krueger from the 1984 horror film, Nightmare on Elm Street.
Bclc Stages Of Liver Cancer
The BCLC staging has four stages:
- Very early stage At this stage, the tumor is smaller than 2 cm. The patient has normal bilirubin levels. Note that high bilirubin levels usually mean that theres something wrong with the liver.
- Early-stage The tumor is less than 5 cm there may or may not be increased bilirubin levels and liver vein pressure.
- Intermediate stage The patient may have a large tumor or multiple tumors.
- Advanced stage The tumor has spread to the liver vein, lymph node, or distant structures.
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Main Symptoms Of Liver Cancer
Liver cancer may not have any symptoms, or they might be hard to spot.
The symptoms are the same if the liver cancer starts in the liver or spreads from another part of the body .
Symptoms of liver cancer can include:
- your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow , you may also have itchy skin, darker pee and paler poo than usual
- loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
- feeling tired or having no energy
- feeling generally unwell or having symptoms like flu
- a lump in the right side of your tummy
Other symptoms can affect your digestion, such as:
- feeling or being sick
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you have:
- a lump in your tummy
- lost a noticeable amount of weight over the last 6 to 12 months without trying
- other symptoms of liver cancer that get worse or do not get better after 2 weeks
Stages Of Liver Failure
Inflammation. In this early stage, the liver is enlarged or inflamed.
Fibrosis. Scar tissue begins to replace healthy tissue in the inflamed liver.
Cirrhosis. Severe scarring has built up, making it difficult for the liver to function properly.
End-stage liver disease . Liver function has deteriorated to the point where the damage cant be reversed other than with a liver transplant.
Liver cancer. The development and multiplication of unhealthy cells in the liver can occur at any stage of liver failure, although people with cirrhosis are more at risk.
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Selective Internal Radiation Therapy
Also known as radioembolisation, this treatment targets liver tumours directly with high doses of internal radiation in tiny beads. It is used for both primary and secondary cancers in the liver when the tumours can’t be removed with surgery. It is not available in all areas, so talk to your doctor about availability and costs involved.
Newly Diagnosed Or Worried About A Symptom
In the days or weeks after a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, you may feel in turmoil and find it hard to think clearly.
You can read our information for people newly diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, including where to find support.
If you havent been diagnosed but are worried about a symptom, find out more about the signs and symptoms of secondary breast cancer.
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Risk Factors That Lead To Liver Cancer
Certain factors are unknown to doctors and researchers on how liver cancer affects only a few people. Depending on the research here are a few risk factors that increase the chances of liver cancer-
Alcohol Abuse- Limiting oneself to just one alcoholic beverage every day. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to liver damage and liver cancer.
Cirrhosis- The replacement of healthy tissues with scarred tissues leads to a condition called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is an irreversible process and eventually leads to lung cancer. Most often, this condition is caused due to alcohol abuse and hepatitis C.
Aflatoxin- Aflatoxin is a harmful substance found in plant moulds such as peanuts, grain and corn. Consumption of grains with moulds present on them leads to liver cancer.
Diabetes- People suffering from diabetes are more prone to liver damage, eventually leading to liver cancer in some cases.
Obesity- Increase in excessive body weight leads to hepatocellular carcinoma – a type of primary liver cancer.
Fatty Liver- Fatty liver is caused in non-alcoholic people too. Accumulation of excessive fat in the liver leads to a fatty liver condition which increases the risk of liver cancer.
Heredity- Certain liver disease such as Hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease are inherited causes of liver cancer.
Drug Abuse – The risk of liver cancer is increased in athletes who take a high dosage of Anabolic steroids to develop more muscles in their body.
Liver Failure Vs Liver Disease
Its important to distinguish between liver disease and liver failure.
Liver disease refers to any condition that causes inflammation or damage to your liver. Liver disease can affect the overall function of your liver.
Liver failure is when your liver has lost some or all of its functionality. It can occur due to the damage thats caused by liver disease.
Damage from liver disease can accrue in several stages, which increasingly affect your livers ability to function.
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Can Yellow Jaundice Cause Death
Yes, jaundice can be extremely fatal if left untreated for a long time. In certain cases, jaundice can also lead to death. Its important that you seek medical help as soon as you notice the onset of jaundice.
How long can you live with end stage liver disease?
Patients with compensated cirrhosis have a median survival that may extend beyond 12 years. Patients with decompensated cirrhosis have a worse prognosis than do those with compensated cirrhosis the average survival without transplantation is approximately two years .
What Happens In Stage 1 Of Liver Cancer
To make an informed and educated treatment decision, determining the diseases stage or progression is important. The staging of liver cancer is done to decide the right kind of treatment out of various treatment options available.
Staging signifies cancers spread, how large it is and how much it affects the body.
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How Does Liver Cancer Affect My Body
Your liver is the largest organ in your body, helping you digest your food. Its also one of the most important organs, as no one can live without their liver. Some of the essential tasks your liver manages include:
- Collects and filters blood flowing from your intestines.
- Processes and stores nutrients that your intestines absorb.
- Changes some nutrients into energy or substances that your body needs to build tissue.
- Makes bile, a fluid that helps digest fat.
- Digests and stores other nutrients from food like sugar, which makes energy.
- Makes substances that help your blood to clot.
What Does It Mean When Your Eyes Turn Yellow In Adults
Adult Jaundice. Jaundice is a condition in which the skin, whites of the eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow because of a high level of bilirubin, a yellow-orange bile pigment. Jaundice has many causes, including hepatitis, gallstones and tumors.
What are the symptoms of alcohol related liver disease?
Alcoholic liver disease. Symptoms vary depending on the amount of damage to the liver. Easy bleeding or bruising, fatigue, changes in your mental state , pain or swelling in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, and weight loss are all possible symptoms.
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Liver Cancer
Liver cancer diagnosis is based on a previous medical condition. If the persisting medical condition is difficult to cure or has worsened, patients will be required to go through a few tests to diagnose liver cancer. Here are a few steps to diagnose liver cancer-
Blood Tests- The function of the liver is established through a blood test that helps in checking the level of liver enzymes, proteins and bilirubin in the blood. The occurrence of alpha-fetoprotein in the blood confirms the presence of liver cancer. AFP is a protein that is seen in the liver of the foetus in the womb and the production of this protein stops after birth.
Abdominal CT and MRI Scan- The imaging tests like CT and MRI Scan of the abdomen helps to get accurate images of the liver and other organs. This helps the doctor to locate the tumour easily and also helps in knowing more about the tumour such as the size and the area of infection.
Liver Biopsy- During a liver biopsy, a small piece of tissue from the lungs is removed under general anaesthesia. This procedure can be performed in two ways –
Through the diagnosis of liver cancer, the severity of cancer will be concluded. After the size, location and stage of the cancer are confirmed, further treatment of liver cancer is decided.
Radiation Therapy- The cancer cells are killed using high-energy radiation beams. Radiation therapy can be conducted in two ways-
Road To Recovery And Aftercare
The journey to fight cancer is painful and stressful. You need to keep up your spirit and fight against it. After surgery for primary liver cancer or secondary liver cancer, the hospital will follow a few post-surgery treatments before sending you home. These include-
Drips and Drains- Post surgery, there will be pipes connected to the body to drain out postoperative fluids, bile and urine. The other pipes will carry drips to nourish the body as the patient will not be able to eat and drink for a few days.
Pain relief- It is very common to feel pain after surgery. This pain can be controlled through painkillers. Painkillers have limited dosages and need to be taken only if necessary.
Once discharged from the hospital, it is important to follow the home care instructions carefully for quicker and safe recovery. Some of them are –
Physiotherapy – Moving around might get a bit difficult post-surgery. A physiotherapist can help by instructing a few exercises that can ease pain and improve breathing and walking patterns.
Avoid Driving- Patients will be advised against driving for a few weeks by the doctor.
Avoid Alcohol- Quitting alcohol post-liver cancer surgery is the best solution however, moderate drinking habits are allowed in a few patients.
Nutrition– A healthy and well-balanced diet to maintain healthy weight and to stay strong and energetic.
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What About Acute Liver Failure
Acute liver failure is often treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Supportive care is given to help stabilize the condition and control any complications during treatment and recovery.
If a medication overdose or reaction is suspected, drugs may be given to reverse the effects. A liver transplant may also be recommended for some people with acute liver failure.
You can help to prevent liver failure by making lifestyle changes that keep your liver happy and healthy. Here are some tips for improving liver health:
- Drink alcohol in moderation, and never mix medications with alcohol.
- Take medications only when needed, and carefully follow any dosing instructions.
- Dont mix medications without first consulting your doctor.
- Maintain a healthy weight theres a connection between obesity and fatty liver disease.
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
- Be sure to have regular physicals with your doctor during which they perform liver blood tests.
What Is The Main Cause Of Liver Cancer
Liver cancer happens when something affects healthy liver cells DNA. DNA carries the genes that tell our cells how to function. We all have genes that tell cells when to grow, multiply and die. For example, oncogenes help cells grow and divide. Other genes, called tumor suppressor genes, monitor cell activity, keeping cells from multiplying uncontrollably and making sure cells die when theyre supposed to die.
When our DNA mutates or changes, our cells get new instructions. In HCC, DNA changes turn on oncogenes and/or turn off tumor suppressor genes. For example, studies show cirrhosis related to hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus account for more than half of all HCC cases. When these viruses infect liver cells, they change cell DNA, turning healthy liver cells into cancerous cells.
What causes IHC?
Healthcare providers believe long-term inflammation in your bile ducts increases the risk for developing IHC. This long-term inflammation may cause DNA changes that turn healthy cells into abnormal cells.
What Is The Liver
The liver is located on the upper right side of the body, behind the lower ribs. The liver does many jobs, including
- Storing nutrients.
- Removing waste products and worn-out cells from the blood.
- Filtering and processing chemicals in food, alcohol, and medications.
- Producing bile, a solution that helps digest fats and eliminate waste products.
Surveillance For Liver Cancer
If you are in a high-risk group for developing liver cancer, regular screening known as surveillance is often recommended. This is because the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance there is of curing it.
Surveillance is usually carried out every 6 months and often involves:
- ultrasound scans high-frequency sound waves are used to create an image of your liver, which can highlight any abnormalities
- blood tests your blood is tested for a protein called alpha-fetoprotein , which is found in some people with liver cancer
Surveillance is usually recommended if you have cirrhosis , although there are other factors that can also affect your risk of liver cancer.
The potential benefits of surveillance should be discussed with you before you enter any screening programme.
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I Have Liver Cancer How Do I Take Care Of Myself
Liver cancer and liver cancer treatments take a toll on your body. Some people have liver transplants or surgery to remove part of their liver. Other people may need treatment for as long as they live. Either way, you should plan on regular appointments with your healthcare provider so they can monitor your progress and watch for signs of recurring liver cancer . For example, people who dont have signs of liver cancer after treatment should plan on follow-up imaging and blood tests every three to six months for the first two years after treatment.
If youve been treated for liver cancer, here are some steps you can take that may reduce your risk for recurrent liver cancer:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Primary liver cancer is a life-threatening illness. Often, people dont know they have liver cancer until the cancer is in an advanced stage, which limits treatment options. When that happens, healthcare providers focus on treatments to relieve symptoms and slow cancer growth while helping you maintain a quality of life. If you have an advanced form of liver cancer, talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options, including benefits and side effects so you can feel confident about your choices going forward.