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Liver Cancer – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Liver cancer is one of the less common cancers in India and not as such reportable. It is mostly in urban areas of India and ranges upto 7.5 per 100,000 in men and over 2 per 10,000 in women in its common form called Hepatocellular Carcinome (HCC).

Liver cancer has mainly four types of which HCC is the most common. The others include Cholangiocarinoma, Liver Angiosarcoma, Hepoblastoma. Almost 75% of the people in India suffer from HCC.Liver Cancer - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

CAUSES
The different causes of liver cancer include damaged liver at birth defects, chronic infection, alcohol abuse, cirhosis, aflatoxin and more

SYMPTOMS
The symptoms in liver cancer differ depending upon the type of the cancer. Though the most common indicators include Loss of apetite, sudden weight loss, liver swelling, jaundice, itching, vomiting, abdominal pain to name a few.

DIAGNOSIS
The tests that are used for diagnosis include angiography, laparoscopy, alpha fetoprotein blood test, biopsy test and imaging tests like ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and more. Though, it is very difficult to diagnose liver cancer at an early stage.

RISK FACTORS
The most common risk factors associated with Liver cancer include Cirrhosis, Diabetes, Hereditary liver diseases, Obesity, Aflatoxins, Alcohol consumption., hereditary liver diseases to name a few.

PROGNOSIS
The cancer stages include localized, regional and distant. While localized means that the cancer cells are still inside the liver and haven’t spread across. At the regional stage, the cancer cells spread to nearby organs and in the distant stage which is considered as an advanced stage, the cancer cells have spread across tissues and organs distant from the liver. The survival rate for 5 years in patients with liver cancer is just about 2% or less for distant stage, around 7% for regional and over 25% for localized.

TREATMENT
The treatment depends on the diagnosis that includes the type of liver cancer, its stage and the patient as well. The various treatments generally include liver transplant, surgery, alcohol injection, targeted drug therapy, radiation therapy and more.

PREVENTION
Everything boils down to maintaining a healthy lifestyle when it comes to prevention of illnesses and conditions. Eating a balanced diet and regular exercise is the best way to prevent the occurrence besides regular health checkups after a certain age.

Though liver cancer is not so relevant in India, it is advisable to take care of your body so as to avoid the many man-made causes of the dreaded illness.

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