Life After Liver Cancer Treatment
Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of death in India and the world. Cancers are hard to deal with and multiply rapidly, and spread to distant body parts via blood and lymph nodes if not treated at the correct time. Harmful substances, like alcohol, fat deposition due to several causes like diabetes, obesity, and virus infection, damage the liver and eventually lead to liver cancer or liver cirrhosis in many patients.
The liver is vulnerable to several types, such as Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma, Hepatoblastoma, etc. At times, cancer in the liver may be due to a secondary spread from cancer from other parts of the body. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates the 42030 people will receive a liver cancer diagnosis. In 2019. Of these, 29,480 will be men, and 12,550 will be women. Since 1980, annual liver cancer diagnoses have trebled.
Symptoms of liver cancer do not usually become apparent until the disease reaches an advanced stage. Liver cancer may cause Jaundice, abdominal pain, pain close to the right shoulder blade, enlarged liver and spleen, weight loss, swelling in the abdomen, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Liver cancer might also cause swollen veins that are visible under the abdominal skin. It may also lead to high levels of cholesterol and low blood sugar levels.
No liver cancer is the same. Get individualized treatment.
Liver cancer or Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most typical cancers in India
Unfortunately, like many other cancers, liver cancer may go undetected until a late stage because of no symptoms at an early stage. It is often brought to attention by an ultrasound or CT scan done for nonspecific symptoms. It commonly develops in a person previously known to have cirrhosis of the liver. Therefore, doctors recommend regular liver cancer screening by simple blood test [Alfa Feto Protein (AFP)] and ultrasound abdomen for those at high risk (like patients with hepatitis B & C virus infection, diabetic patient and liver cirrhosis due to any reason) at regular intervals. Early diagnosis of liver cancer gives us a hope of ray for curative treatment either surgically or by burning of cancer radio logically..
To help guide treatment and define the outlook of liver cancer, there are four stages. The first stage is where the tumor remains in the liver and does not spread to another organ. In the second stage, several small tumors remain in the liver, or one big tumor reaches the blood vessel. In the third stage, various large tumors or one tumor or one tumor reached a main large blood vessel. In the fourth stage, cancer metastasized, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body. Once a Doctor has diagnosed and identified the stage, a person will start to receive treatment.
Lack of awareness and ignorance will lead to diagnosis at the later stage of cancer in many patients when no treatment is possible, or they require more complex & extensive treatment. The best available treatment for liver cancer is surgery if it is confined to the removal portion of the liver, wherein the affected portion of the liver is removed. All kinds of major liver resections, depending on the tumor location in the liver, can now be performed with a high degree of success in India.
The emergence of novel techniques advanced CT machines, a better understanding of liver anatomy, and bloodless liver splitting techniques with the help of the CUSA machine-made liver resection a safe & effective procedure with a very high success rate. The use of laparoscopy has been the most recent innovative advancement in the field of liver surgery. The robotic system is another minimally invasive approach that has also been widely used in liver surgery nowadays; the initial experiences showed that the robotic system could be used not only for minor but also major liver resection. With growing experience and expertise in living donor liver transplantation, minimal invasive surgery will become the standard of care in the future. Mastering major resection by minimally invasive approach is a challengeable work indeed; surgeons should perform it with great cautiousness even though they have been quite familiar with laparoscopic surgery. Key advantages of laparoscopic/Robotic surgery are reduced postoperative pain, smaller scar, early ambulation, and early discharge from the hospital.
One of the most unique features of the liver that helps in the good recovery of patients is the power of regeneration, due to which the liver recovers its original size within a few weeks after removal of up to 70% of the liver.
In some suitable cases, especially those where the liver has advanced cirrhosis along with cancer with no evidence of cancer outside the liver, liver transplantation is the best possible treatment. This procedure can treat both liver cirrhosis and cancer at the same time. If an operation is not possible due to advanced disease or safe due to advanced age with multiple co morbid illnesses, there are several other treatment options available, although they are inferior to surgical removal of cancer. Alcohol injection, burning the tumor with a special radiofrequency probe (RFA), and Injection of chemotherapy drugs along with selective embolization through the liver arteries (transarterial chemoembolization or TACE) are the available options. All above treatments should only be carried out in specialized liver centers by experienced Interventional radiologists.
What are the Prevention?
Liver cancer has a low survival rate in comparison to some other cancers. However, people can reduce their risk of experiencing the disease. They can also improve their chances of early detection. There is no way to prevent liver cancer completely, but the following measures may help to reduce the risk. Moderating alcohol intake, regularly consuming high volumes of alcohol on a long-term basis significantly increases the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. Limiting tobacco use, This can help avoid cancer of the liver, especially in people who have hepatitis B and C. Maintaining healthy body weight, Obesity is a risk factor as fatty liver disease and cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer and diabetes. Looking after physical health and maintaining a moderate body weight can help reduce liver cancer risk. Treating underlying conditions: Some other conditions can lead to liver cancer, such as diabetes and hemochromatosis. Treating these before they develop into liver cancer can reduce the risk of complications.
It is best to seek consultation with a doctor if someone suspects they may have the early symptoms of liver cancer. Regular screening is vital for people with a high risk of the disease.
The liver is a critical organ the body cannot live without and needs a healthy liver to survive.