What Is Liver Cancer

Cancer refers to a condition in which body loses the potential to replace the dead and worn out cells effectively and in a controlled manner. Cancer can affect any individual and almost any part of the body. In the case of liver cancer, liver the largest gland of our body gets affected and thus is not able to perform routine tasks effectively. Liver cancer can affect various parts of liver including bile ducts, which prevents the liver from performing the task of helping in digestion and getting body rid of drugs, dead red blood cells etc.

The leading cause of liver cancer is Cirrhosis (Cirrhosis is a chronic condition in which the liver does not function properly due to long-term damage) due to either hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or Alcohol overuse. 

BEFORE Liver Cancer PROCEDURE

Your doctor will suggest you to undergo various diagnostic tests to detect the type and spread of cancer in liver. This will help them plan the treatment in an informed and effective manner. The list of tests would generally include LFT, AFP, CT scan, MRI and a liver biopsy. It is always good to discuss your medical history with the doctor and to make them aware of any kind of allergies that you might have to certain drugs. You should always ask your doctor about the plan of the treatment, recovery time involved etc. If you have been advised for a surgery, it is always advisable to arrive with an empty stomach.

How it is performed

The treatment for liver cancer depends on the stage or the condition. Your doctor will choose the best option for you depending upon the diagnosis. Oftentimes doctors prefer a combination of various treatments. For E.g. In the case of liver transplant, a portion of the liver from the living donor or a cadaver is transplanted into the body of recipient. This is one of the most common procedure as the liver has the potential to rejuvenate and regrow itself. Other techniques include Ablation, in which a small affected area is treated with either heat, specific acids or lasers to kill the abnormal cells. Embolization is used to obstruct the supply of blood to the affected part of the organ and thus killing the abnormal tissue. Other popular approaches such as chemotherapy (specially prepared medicines are injected or orally given to target and kill the abnormal tissue) and radiation therapy (targeted high intensity waves are put on the affected area to kill off the abnormal cells) are usually coupled with various other techniques to increase the success rate and to decrease the chances of reoccurrence.

Recovery

After an organ transplant surgery, one should be cautious to never miss out on the given medication, the type of diet that needs to be followed and any exercise that might have been suggested by the physician. In case of radiation and chemotherapy one should be mentally prepared about the side effects which might last for few hours to months. Your mental preparedness and timely routine will help you through the recovery process.

Potential Risks

One of the major risks involved in organ transplant is the rejection of the organ by the recipients body. This problem is usually solved by giving immunosuppressants to the recipient. Other risks include leaving behind some cancerous tissue or damaging some of the healthy tissue in case of using radiation therapy. More sophisticated and modern techniques help doctors minimize such risks and thus the rate of success turns out to be good.  

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