Liver cancer or hepatic cancer is a cancer that originates in the liver. Liver cancers are malignant tumors that grow on the surface or inside the liver. There are many forms of liver cancer, although many cancers found in the liver are metastases from other tumors. The most frequent liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. About 4 of 5 cancers that start in the liver are this type. HCC can have different growth patterns; some begin as a single tumor that grows larger. Only late in the disease does it spread to other parts of the liver. A second type seems to start as many small cancer nodules throughout the liver, not just a single tumor.
This is seen most often in people with cirrhosis and is the most common pattern seen in the United States. Risk Factors A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease, such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed. Hepatocellular carcinoma is much more common in males than in females. The most common risk factor for liver cancer is chronic infection with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus.
These infections lead to cirrhosis of the liver and are responsible for making liver cancer the most common cancer in many parts of the world. In the United States, infection with hepatitis C is the more common cause of HCC, while in Asia and developing countries, hepatitis B is more common. People infected with both viruses have a very high risk of developing chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Heavy Alcohol abuse is also a main risk factor and it leads to cirrhosis, Cirrhosis is a disease in which liver cells become damaged and are replaced by scar tissue. People with cirrhosis have an increased risk of liver cancer.
And most of people who develop liver cancer already have some evidence of cirrhosis. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which people who consume little or no alcohol develop a fatty liver, is common in obese people. People with a type of this disease known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis might go on to develop cirrhosis. There are several possible causes of cirrhosis. Most cases in the United States occur in people who abuse alcohol or have chronic HBV or HCV infections. Another risk factor is use of anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are male hormones used by some athletes to increase their strength and muscle mass.
Long-term anabolic steroid use can slightly increase the risk of hepatocellular cancer. And smoking also is a big risk factor, many people believe that smoking is one of main cause of liver cancer. Although several risk factors for hepatocellular cancer are known, exactly how these factors cause normal liver cells to become cancerous is only partially understood. Cancers develop when the DNA of cells is damaged.
DNA is the chemical in each of our cells that makes up the instructions for how our cells function. Some genes have instructions for controlling when cells grow, divide into new cells, and die, and are called oncogenes. Genes that slow down cell division or cause cells to die at the right time are called tumor suppressor genes. Cancers can be caused by DNA changes that turn on oncogenes or turn off tumor suppressor genes. Several different genes usually need to have changes for a cell to become cancerous. infection of liver cells with hepatitis viruses can also damage DNA. These viruses have their own DNA, which carries instructions on how to infect cells and produce more viruses.
Treatment Treatments for primary liver cancer depend on the stage of the disease as well as yourage, overa ll health and personal choices . The goal of any treatment is to eliminate the cancer completely. When that isn’t possible, the focus may be on preventing the tumor from growing or spreading. Surgery to remove a portion of the liver, partial hepatectomy to remove the liver cancer and a small portion of healthy tissue that surrounds it if your tumor is small and your liver function is good. Liver transplant surgery: your diseased liver is removed and replaced with a healthy liver from a donor. Liver transplant surgery may be an option for certain people with early-stage liver cancer.
Freezing cancer cells. Cryoablation uses extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. During procedure, doctor places an instrument containing liquid nitrogen directly onto liver tumors. Ultrasound images are used to guide the cryoprobe and monitor the freezing of the cells. Radiation therapy, This treatment uses high-powered energy beams to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. During radiation therapy treatment, you lie on a table and a machine directs the energy beams at a precise point on your body. These are some of the common treatment for liver Cancer.