All you should know about liver cancer and its treatment options

By | December 3, 2019

Liver cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of your liver. However, many types of cancers can form in the liver, and the most common type is hepatocellular carcinoma, which occurs in the primary type of liver cell. Some less common liver cancers types include hepatoblastoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Generally, cancer that spreads to the liver is more common in comparison to cancer that starts in the liver. 

Symptoms of liver cancer

Many people do not have any symptoms in the early stages of liver cancer . some symptoms of liver cancer include 

  •  Sudden weight loss
  •  Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Chalky stools

Main causes of liver cancer 

The leading causes of liver cancer are the consumption of harmful chemicals such as drugs, alcohol, fatty foods that damage the liver and cause liver cells to die. Generally, the liver regenerates itself naturally, but if damaged continuously, then it can cause a condition known as cirrhosis. Below are some main causes of liver cancer :

  • Drug use
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Unprotected sex

Diagnosis of liver cancer 

A medical history and physical examination diagnose liver cancer. There are many diagnostic tests that are performed by the doctor to determine the health of the liver; it is known as liver function tests.

Along with its abdominal CT and MRI scans are also performed to get detailed images of the liver along with other organs. Cancer experts will also recommend a biopsy, which involves removing a small piece of liver tissue. This biopsy is performed by using a laparoscope, which is a thin and flexible tube that is attached to a camera.

Types of liver cancer 

There are mainly five types of liver cancers. They are listed below:

Hepatocellular Carcinoma – it is said to be the most common type  of liver cancer Fibrolamellar HCC – this type of liver cancer is very rare

Cholangiocarcinoma – this type of liver cancer occurs in bile ducts of the liver

Angiosarcoma – This type starts in the blood vessels of the liver and is diagnosed at an advanced stage. Secondary liver cancer – this type of liver cancer occurs when cancer is in another part of the body and spreads to the liver.

Treatment of liver cancer 

Treatment of liver cancer depends upon many factors. Some of them are listed below:

  • Number,  size and location of tumours in the liver
  • Functioning of liver
  •  Presence of cirrhosis
  • Spreading of a tumour to other organs

There are two main treatment options for liver cancer patients

  1. Transplant option to treat liver cancer 

A liver transplant is the surgical process in which the new and healthy liver replaces the entire liver. The liver can be taken by :

Deceased donor – in this liver for transplant can be made from a deceased donor. Before acquiring DDLT i.e., Deceased Donor Liver Transplantation doctors have to perform many tests to determine the patient is fit for transplant or not.

Living donor – in this case, the liver or a part of the liver is taken from a living donor to replace the damaged liver. The donor should be from the patient’s family or friend. 

 

2. Non-transplant options

 

To treat liver cancer, the other option is non-transplant options :

Radiofrequency Ablation – it is the nontransplant surgical option to kill cancer cells. 

Partial Hepatectomy– in this type whole liver is removed.

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is another option to treat liver cancer, which is used to kill cancer cells and to prevent the liver from infection. 

Radiotherapy – It is one of the treatment options done by giving external beam radiotherapy to damage cancer cells. 

Liver cancer treatment cost in India 

The cost of Liver Cancer Treatment in India comes from USD 4600 to USD 5000 for Liver Resection i.e., Hepatectomy. On the other hand, Liver Transplant Surgery cost in India comes under USD 38000 to USD 42000. For the liver transplant, patients need to have a well-matched donor, and it should be from the family only. 

 

Top Doctors For Liver Cancer Treatment in India

  • Dr Harit Chaturvedi, Surgical Oncologist with 25 years of experience
  • Dr Kapil Kumar, Surgical Oncologist with 28 years of experience
  • Dr PL Kariholu, Surgical Oncologist with 35 years of experience
  • Dr Sabyasachi Bal, Surgical Oncologist with 34 years of experience

 

After liver cancer treatment, patients can live a normal life and can resume daily activities. Just remember to follow the instructions given by oncologists. Patients must make healthy choices to stay fit.