Liver cancer every year this terrible diagnosis is about 250 thousands of patients around the world. Primary liver cancer (where the cancer is localized in the liver) occurs 30 times less than the secondary (metastatic) at which only appear in the liver tumor processes.
It is remarkable that the primary form of liver cancer occurs most often in South Africa, Senegal, China and India, and the men they fall ill 4 times more often than women. The age threshold, the probability of getting cancer of the liver increases - 40 years.
What is liver cancer?
As mentioned above, there are two types of liver cancer: primary and secondary.
When first type, the cancer cells are formed in the liver as a single or multiple formations dense etiology whitish color without clear outlines. This type of tumor grows quickly in the body and blood vessels spread throughout the liver, forming metastases. Liver cancer often develops in chronic viral hepatitis B, cirrhosis of the liver in the background, and very difficult to treat. When secondary liver cancer, metastases to the liver tumor penetrate other organs where localized malignant neoplasm. Depending on the stage of liver cancer, in a secondary form, the treatment can give good results and to extend the life of the patient up to 4-5 years.
Depending on the type of cells that are affected with cancer, distinguished the epithelial, non-epithelial and mixed type of cancer.
From there cholangiocellular epithelial tissue cancer that attacks the bile ducts, hepatocellular - striking the cells of the liver, hepatitis-cholangiocellular - mixed type, and undifferentiated type of liver cancer.
Because of non-epithelial tissue is formed hemangioendothelioma, and mixed type of cancer of liver cancer include carcinosarcoma and hepatoblastoma.
Causes of liver cancer
Unfortunately, to date, scientists can not accurately identify the causes of malignant tumors and to determine the probable predisposition to cancer of any etiology. With some confidence we can talk about genetic predisposition, as the probability of occurrence of liver cancer is increased by the confluence of certain circumstances. Such circumstances decided to attribute a high level of environmental pollution, unhealthy lifestyles human quality and the nature of food, the presence of chronic liver disease.
Studies show that the development of liver cancer contributes to excessive iron content in the body, cholelithiasis, hepatitis B, syphilis, parasitic infection of the liver and alcoholism.
High carcinogenic to the liver may have work in hazardous industries. Such products of the chemical industry as polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated organic pesticides, chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents emit harmful substances that, when ingested, cause the growth of cancer cells.
Even eating unnatural foods, vegetables and fruits, which were used for the cultivation of pesticides and growth stimulants significantly increases the risk of cancer. Some organic compounds which are contained in foods such as peanuts, can also cause cancer.
Symptoms of liver cancer
Liver cancer, like any malignancy in humans causes general weakness, physical inactivity, loss of appetite, anemia, nausea and vomiting, and, as a result, the weight loss. Liver cancer patients begin to "feel" the diseased organ, in the case of the liver - a heaviness and pain in the right upper quadrant, the increase in the size and surface topography authority. It should be noted that these symptoms are directly dependent on the stage of liver cancer, but considering that the primary cancer develops and progresses quickly, within 2-3 weeks after the onset of the disease, palpation clearly felt changes in the size and surface of the liver, and in some cases, even You can test the tumor site.
When cancer development on the background of cirrhosis, and it happens in 60-90% of cases, the patient sharply intensified pain, jaundice increases, increased body temperature, having nosebleeds and vascular mesh on the skin. It is also a symptom of liver cancer can be identified expansion of the abdominal wall of the saphenous veins, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, obstructive jaundice, ascites.
In secondary type liver cancer metastasis may be in the liver itself, lymph nodes gate liver and other body organs (lung, kidney, pancreas, etc.).
Diagnosis of liver cancer
At the initial stage, it is difficult to diagnose liver cancer, due to the lack of specific symptoms. And as the disease progresses rapidly, the patient is drawn to the doctors when there are already a lot of pain in the right upper quadrant, fever, weakness, stomach strain due to greatly increased authority and other symptoms of liver cancer.
The initial diagnosis of liver cancer is palpation of the body and then shows ultrasonography (US), laboratory tests for bilirubin in the blood and urine urobilin. In controversial cases, a magnetic resonance imaging of the liver (MRI) and / or computed tomography (CT). But one of the most significant research is the puncture of the liver, which allows you to obtain precise data on the morphology of the disease and to distinguish liver cancer from similar diseases.
Patients at risk for early stage detection of liver cancer, may be carried out an analysis on the content fetoprotein in blood. By increasing these substances in 70-90% of cases can judge the presence of a malignant tumor.
Treatment of liver cancer
Unfortunately, it is this type of cancer is very difficult to treat because of the importance of the liver as the organ in the functioning of the human body. Surgical removal of the tumor is possible only at an early stage, and subject to the formation of isolated nodes of small size. To establish the ability to remove a tumor can only during the opening of the abdominal cavity (laparotomy), but normally in most cases, these patients are considered incurable and it is carried out only symptomatic treatment to alleviate the condition.
Intravenous chemotherapy in the treatment of liver cancer, is also not produce the desired effect only injection into the hepatic artery can be achieved some positive results.
When liver metastases, liver cancer treatment depends on the location of the nodes. The operation is performed only if struck by one lobe of the liver, and there are no signs of metastases in other organs.
Prediction of liver cancer
As discussed above, liver cancer progresses very rapidly, thereby reducing the chances for successful treatment. Patients with this diagnosis often belong to a group of incurable. Literally 3-4 months since the onset of the disease can lead to death of the patient. Provided resectable liver cancer, the prognosis is that the life expectancy is 3-5 years after the successful removal of the tumor.
Prevention of disease
As it turned out, the development of liver cancer in a high degree contributes to chronic viral hepatitis, parasitic liver disease, the impact on the body of poisons the chemical industry, lifestyle and bad habits, namely alcoholism. Therefore, prevention of liver cancer is concerned about their health, the environment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And at the slightest "failures" in the body, the appearance of any frightening symptoms, you should always consult a doctor, because undiagnosed infection is much easier to treat, and a chance to recover.