The cancer cells that originate in the liver give rise to liver cancer. The liver is the largest glandular organ that performs the function of removing toxins and harmful substances. This organ is found in the upper right side of the abdomen, underneath the diaphragm, and above the stomach. The constant filtering of the blood is done in the liver, which is then circulated throughout the body. This organ is also responsible for producing bile, a substance that helps in digesting vitamins, nutrients, fats, etc. The liver also stores glucose which helps at times when we are not eating.
The growth of the cancer cells in this vital organ disorients the important functions performed by it. With their gradual and aggressive growth, these cancer cells break from the initial site and spread to other parts and organs of the body.
However, it is often noticed that the cancer cells that spread to the liver from other organs are much more common than the cancer cells originating from the liver.
1. Hepatocellular Carcinoma
It is also known as hepatoma. HCC is the most common category of liver cancer that is diagnosed among adults. This develops in the hepatocytes, the predominant liver cells. The cancer cells in HCC have the potential of spreading to different organs of the body. People with severe alcohol addiction can face the threat of Hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is found in the small, tube-like bile ducts present in the liver. These ducts perform the function of delivering bile to the gallbladder so as to help with digestion. Cancer that begins in the bile duct is termed intrahepatic bile duct cancer. Cancer originates in sections of the duct outside the liver, then it is known as extrahepatic bile duct cancer.
3. Liver Angiosarcoma
This is a rare form of cancer found in the blood vessels of the liver. This is a very aggressive cancer that spreads at an alarming rate. Liver angiosarcoma is hard to detect in the initial stages and is usually found when it has reached the advanced stage.
This is a very rare form of cancer, usually found in children under three years.
In the case of liver cancer, most signs go undetected in the early stages. The symptoms experienced when it is advanced are as follows:
In most cases, the doctors suggest surgery depending on the age, overall health, and personal preference of the patient. This surgery can include the removal of a tumor from the liver. The other option for surgery can include a liver transplant option, where the infected liver is replaced with a healthy liver.
2. Radiation Therapy
This utilizes high-power energy rays, such as x-rays or protons, in order to eliminate cancer cells. Doctors direct these beams to the infected liver.
3. Targeted Drug Therap
This procedure focuses on the abnormalities in the cancer cells. These abnormalities are blocked to stop the growth of cancer cells.
This is the method where drugs are used to kill the aggressive growth of cancer cells. These drugs can be administered through the vein or can be taken as pills.
It is the method that uses the immune system to block and kill cancer cells. This is generally used in the advanced stages of liver cancer.
6. Localized Treatments
These are directly administered to the cancer cells that include:
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