Just like every other organ in the body, the liver keeps a person healthy by its functions. Harmful material are removed from the blood, as it is filtered by this large vital detoxifying organ. It produces the different proteins needed by the body including enzymes, hormones, antibodies and other substances. Digestion of fat is facilitated with the bile that the liver also produces. It is the primary powerhouse source of energy. Liver cancer, also called hepatic tumors, can come from the liver itself. Also, a primary tumor may have spread it to the liver.
The football-sized organ sits at the upper right hand side part of the abdomen, beneath the diaphragm and above the stomach. Protected by the lower ribs, it sets the right side lobe and the smaller left lobe.
Survival rates do not give definite indications of what will happen to patients. However, they may predict their chances if a type of treatment plan is chosen for. A liver transplant and surgery to remove the cancer from the liver are the two main treatment options. Liver cancer can be fatal for some patients within the year of diagnosis. Until it has become a serious medical condition, the symptoms do not appear.
Hepatocellular, one of the two major types, usually develop in people with chronic cirrhosis. These growth on or in the liver can be benign or malignant. Specialists often suggest a liver transplant. Classified as primary liver cancer, it is uncommon. It starts in the cells, bile ducts, blood vessels or connective tissues of the liver.
Discovered on medical imaging, the cancer most likely developed due to previous liver disease. Also, chronic infection with the hepatitis virus is the other leading cause of liver cancer. A vaccine against hepatitis C infection is not known to be available yet. However, it could have avoided by preventing contamination. Drinking alcohol is also known to be a cause of hepatocellular cancer.
Metastatic cancer is not labeled as liver cancer, but as metastatic cancer of whatever organ they originated from. It is classified as secondary liver cancer, which has been translated from the spread of cancer from other areas of the body to the liver.
Specialists have identified some treatments to help control cancer. These are percutaneous ethanol injection, radiofrequency ablation, chemoembolisation, and cryosurgery or cryotherapy.
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy is performed by interventional radiology doctors to treat patients with inoperable liver cancer.