Liver Cancer

liver transplant in delhi
liver transplant in delhi

Liver cancer poses a significant threat to life and stands as one of the rapidly proliferating cancer types in India.

There are two primary categories of liver cancer: primary and secondary. Primary liver cancer originates within the liver, while secondary cancer extends to the liver from another part of the body.

This article specifically addresses primary liver cancer.

Similar to various cancer types, early detection enhances the effectiveness of treatment for liver cancer. What sets liver cancer apart is the relatively clear understanding healthcare providers have regarding the factors that elevate the risk of its development.

In light of this knowledge, healthcare providers, particularly at IHPBLT, the best liver transplant in Delhi, are committed to identifying individuals at an increased risk.

The goal is to promptly detect and treat primary liver cancer at its early stages.

It is noteworthy that liver cancer holds the sixth position among the most prevalent cancers globally, with 841,080 new cases reported in 2018. Additionally, it ranks as the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths on a global scale.

Is liver cancer a common disease?

While not widespread, the incidence of liver cancer is on a gradual rise. According to healthcare providers, approximately 1% of both men and women in the United States are anticipated to receive a liver cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives.

Primary liver cancer encompasses three main types:

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): This variant constitutes the majority of liver cancer cases, accounting for almost all instances.
Intrahepatic cancer (IHC): A subset of cholangiocarcinoma, IHC pertains to cancer within the bile ducts of the liver, making up roughly 10% to 20% of primary liver cancer cases.

Angiosarcoma: This is an exceedingly rare type, comprising about 1% of all primary liver cancer cases. Angiosarcoma originates in the blood cell lining of the liver, with the potential to affect other organs as well.

Collectively, HCC and IHC contribute to approximately 2% of all newly estimated cancer cases, with 5% of new cancer-related deaths. Healthcare providers typically adopt similar diagnostic and treatment approaches for both HCC and IHC.

Who’s affected by liver cancer?

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cancer (IHC) demonstrate a higher prevalence in men compared to women and are commonly identified in individuals aged 55 to 64.
The likelihood of developing primary liver cancer is more pronounced among individuals of Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaskan Indian descent when compared to those who are Black or white.

How does liver cancer affect my body?

The liver, the largest organ in your body, plays a vital role in digestion and various essential functions. It is indispensable for life, and some of its crucial tasks include:

Collecting and filtering blood from the intestines.
Processing and storing nutrients absorbed by the intestines.
Converting certain nutrients into energy or essential substances for tissue building.
Producing bile, a fluid crucial for fat digestion.
Digesting and storing nutrients like sugar, contributing to energy production.
Synthesizing substances that aid in blood clotting.

What is the main cause of liver cancer?

Liver cancer develops when there are alterations in the DNA of healthy liver cells. DNA serves as the carrier of genes that provide instructions for the functioning of our cells.
Within our genetic makeup, certain genes regulate when cells should grow, multiply, or undergo programmed cell death. Oncogenes, for instance, stimulate cell growth and division, while tumor suppressor genes oversee cell activity, preventing uncontrolled cell multiplication and ensuring cells undergo programmed death.

When DNA undergoes mutations or changes, cells receive new instructions. In the case of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), DNA changes activate oncogenes and/or deactivate tumor suppressor genes.
For instance, research indicates that cirrhosis linked to hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) contributes to over half of all HCC cases. These viruses, upon infecting liver cells, induce changes in cell DNA, transforming once healthy liver cells into cancerous cells.

Liver Cancer Symptoms:-

In the initial stages of liver cancer, symptoms may not manifest. Both Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma (IHC) share common symptoms:

Presence of a lump beneath the rib cage or pain on the right side of the abdomen, including discomfort near the right shoulder.
Jaundice, characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Unexplained weight loss, nausea, or a decrease in appetite.
Dark-colored urine.

Diagnosis and Tests:-

Your healthcare provider might suspect liver cancer upon identifying signs and symptoms during your physical examination. To gather more information, they may recommend the following tests:

Blood tests: These assessments, such as liver function tests, analyze liver enzymes, proteins, and other substances to evaluate the health or damage of your liver. Testing for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) can reveal elevated levels associated with liver cancer. IHPBLT at BLK Hospital, the best liver transplant in Delhi, can assist in conducting these tests.

Ultrasound (sonography): This diagnostic procedure captures images of your soft tissue structures, allowing healthcare providers to scrutinize the liver for tumors.

Computed tomography (CT) scan: This specialized X-ray technique generates detailed images of the liver, offering insights into the size and location of potential tumors.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This imaging test employs a powerful magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce clear images of the body, aiding in the detection and characterization of liver abnormalities.

Angiogram: This procedure assists healthcare providers in examining the blood vessels in your liver. Dye is injected into an artery during the test to monitor blood vessel activity and identify any blockages.

Biopsy: To conclusively confirm a liver cancer diagnosis, healthcare providers may perform a biopsy, extracting liver tissue for thorough examination.

If intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IHC) is suspected, your healthcare provider may recommend the following additional tests:

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): This method utilizes an endoscope and a catheter to inspect your bile ducts and gather diagnostic information.

IHPBLT at BLK Hospital, a top-notch liver transplant center, can facilitate ERCP procedures.
Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC): Similar to ERCP, PTC creates X-rays of your bile ducts. In this procedure, contrast dye is delivered directly into the bile ducts and liver through a needle, particularly suitable for individuals unable to undergo ERCP. IHPBLT at BLK Hospital, with its experienced medical team, can manage and conduct these tests effectively.

What are liver cancer stages?

Healthcare providers utilize the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer system (BCLC) to categorize Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) based on various criteria, including liver function, tumor size, and symptomatic presentation. The BCLC system employs different terminologies for each stage, denoted as stages I to IV, 0-C, or described as early and advanced stage HCC.

The stages of Hepatocellular Carcinoma are outlined as follows:

Stage I/Very Early Stage/Stage 0: This stage involves a solitary tumor in the liver measuring less than 2 centimeters (cm), with normal bilirubin levels indicated by blood tests.

Stage II/Early Stage/Stage A: Individuals in this stage may have a single tumor measuring 5 cm or less, or multiple tumors with each measuring less than 3 cm. There may be indications of tumor extension into blood vessels.

Stage III/Intermediate Stage/Stage B: This stage may involve the presence of multiple tumors and/or a single tumor exceeding 5 cm. Additionally, tumors may have spread to lymph nodes, major blood vessels, or another organ.

Stage IV/Advanced Stage/Stage C: Cancer has progressed to distant locations in the body, such as the lungs or bones, along with involvement of lymph nodes.

Is liver cancer curable?

Liver cancer can be effectively cured through successful liver transplant, but not all individuals requiring a transplant may be in suitable health conditions or find an appropriate donor.
Research indicates that individuals undergoing surgery to remove a portion of their liver tend to have longer life expectancy compared to those who are unable to undergo surgery due to their health condition.
In cases where transplantation may not be feasible, healthcare providers, with a focus on maintaining a high quality of life, employ alternative treatments to help individuals live as comfortably as possible. IHPBLT at BLK Hospital stands as the best liver transplant in Delhi, ensuring comprehensive care and successful outcomes.

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