Liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is a serious malignancy that originates in the liver cells. It is closely linked to chronic liver diseases and other risk factors. Early detection and proactive management are crucial for improving prognosis and reducing the impact of this deadly disease.
What is liver cancer?
Liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is a type of malignancy that originates in the liver cells. It is the most common type of liver cancer and can be primary (originating in the liver) or secondary (spreading to the liver from other parts of the body).
What causes liver cancer?
The exact causes of liver cancer are not always clear, but several risk factors have been identified. Chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, are major risk factors. Other factors include excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to certain toxins, and genetic conditions.
What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
Symptoms of liver cancer may include abdominal pain or tenderness, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fatigue, and swollen abdomen. However, in some cases, liver cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. For more information, check out our 'Resources' page here.
What are the treatment options for liver cancer?
Treatment options for liver cancer depend on the stage of cancer, the patient's overall health, and the extent of liver damage. Treatment may include surgical removal of the tumour, liver transplant, ablation (destroying the tumour with heat or cold), embolisation (blocking the blood supply to the tumour), radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Early detection and proactive management of risk factors play a crucial role in improving the prognosis for individuals with liver cancer. Regular screenings, such as ultrasound and blood tests, are recommended for those at high risk to detect liver cancer at an early and more treatable stage.