The largest internal organ that plays a key role in digestion process is liver. Liver is known to perform many functions like filtering the blood and storing the nutrients. Liver is also known for producing blood- clotting factors and it also play a key role in removing toxins from the body.
Cancer begins when the healthy cells of liver grow uncontrollably and forms a mass of cells. These mass of cells are referred to as liver tumour.
Types of Liver Tumour
Liver tumour is classified into different categories based on the affected cells. The different types of liver cancer:
Around 80% of the people suffer with hepatocellular carcinoma. There are different growth patterns of hepatocellular carcinoma. In few cases a single tumour develops and that spreads to other parts of the liver as the disease progresses. Tumour development in the form of nodules is also seen at different places in the liver.
Cholangiocarcinoma or Bile duct cancer
The tumour initially starts in the bile duct and then spreads to the liver. The thin tube that extends from the liver to the small intestine is called bile duct. 10-20% of adults suffer with cholangiosarcoma.
Angiosarcoma initially starts developing in the blood vessels of the liver and grows very quickly. Angiosarcoma is very rare when compared to cholangiosarcoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Liver Tumour Causes
There are different factors that can lead to liver cancer. The most common factors include:
Aflatoxins are a substance found in ground nut, soybeans, peanuts and corn. Aflatoxin substance is made up of fungus. Long term exposure of aflatoxins can increase the risk of development of liver cancer.
Patients suffering with diabetes along with hepatitis are at high risk of developing the liver cancer.
Steroids are generally used by athletes. The male hormones if consumed for a longer time can increase the risk of development of liver cancer.
People with a family history of liver are more prone to suffer from the disease.
People with low or weak immune system are at increased risk of developing liver cancer.
Obesity increases the risk of many diseases including liver cancer.
Mostly more men suffer with liver cancer when compared to women. Excessive drinking of alcohol also increases the risk of liver cancer. According to the research men drink more alcohol than women and thus the risks are high in men.
Patients suffering with hepatitis B and hepatitis C are at high risk of liver cancer. Smoking increases the risk of development of liver cancer in hepatitis B and hepatitis C patients.
Liver Tumour Symptoms
The most common liver tumour symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Back pain
Liver Tumour Treatment
There are several treatment options for Liver cancer depending on the staging on cancer.
Broadly the treatment options can be classified as
- Trans arterial Chemoembolisation
- Radio- frequency ablation
Chemoembolization is a procedure that directly delivers the chemotherapy drugs to the tumour cells. The direct delivery of drugs to the tumour cells minimizes the side effects like vomiting and nausea.
Chemotherapeutic drugs are injected through a catheter directly into the tumour. Along with chemotherapeutic drugs certain other particles are also injected that helps in blocking the blood flow to the tumours and stops the growth of the tumour.
Chemoembolization helps in injecting high doses of drugs to the targeted tumour cells for a long period of time and prevents the side effects of drugs on other body parts.
This is usually done as a palliative measure to prolong the life of patient
Radiofrequency Ablation is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery where under CT / USG guidance, a RFA probe is inserted into the tumor and a fixed dose of energy is delivered directly.
Advantage of RFA is that, in most cases it provides permanent cure. And it is a less invasive and less risky alternative to surgery.
If you are suffering with liver cancer and wants to get it treated with a minimally invasive procedure, then you must consult Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala who is the best Interventional Oncologists in Hyderabad.