Hepatic Cancer Risk Factors
Prevention is always better than cure. Known major risk factors for hepatic cancer are Alcohol, Smoking, Hepatitis B and C Infection, Fatty liver disease. If we quit alcohol and smoking not only liver cancer risk but we can reduce the risk for so many other cancer also. Hepatitis B & C infection spread from one infected person to another through sexual contact, using infected needles and syringes and through blood and blood products, so by taking precautions these infections can also be prevented. Hepatitis B Vaccine is also available. Fatty liver disease is now emerging as the major cause of liver damage and as a liver cancer risk factor. A major cause of the fatty liver disease is obesity and diabetes. Weight control by means of a healthy lifestyle and good diabetic control can reverse it
Hepatic Cancer Symptoms
The symptoms of Liver cancer are right upper abdomen pain, anorexia, and weight loss. Sometimes patients present with symptoms of chronic liver disease such as hematemesis (blood in vomitus), black colored stools, Abdomen distension due to ascites, jaundice and during the investigation they are found to have chronic liver disease along with Liver cancer.
Hepatic Cancer Screening
Cancer patients survival rate is good if detected and treated at an early stage, In patients of chronic liver disease routine USG and a blood test for alpha fetoprotein level is done every 6 months.These tests can detect cancer at an early stage when the tumor size is small.
Hepatic Cancer Diagnosis
Once Ultrasound suggests a mass lesion in the liver, triple phase CT abdomen. It is done to further delineate the lesion and resectability of cancer. CECT chest is also done for staging purpose
Hepatic Cancer Treatment
Treatment options for liver cancer patients are Surgery, Local ablative procedures, and chemotherapy. Surgery is the preferred one. There are two options in surgery one is liver transplantation and other is liver resection. Liver transplantation is preferred in those patients who have liver cancer on the background of chronic liver disease. The chances of recurrence after liver resection is high in these patients. In 20% of patients liver cancer develops on the background of a normal liver. Liver resection is the treatment of choice in these patients. Local ablative procedures are done when the patient is not fit for surgery and as a bridge to a liver transplant.