What is hepatocellular carcinoma and how dangerous it is?
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common liver cancer (he is in 90% cases of all malignant tumors of the liver). This dangerous form of cancer (hepatocellular cancer) most often affects men than women, especially in the age of 40-60 years. There is a tendency to "rejuvenation" of the disease. In connection with the frequent cases of viral hepatitis the incidence of liver carcinomas increased with each passing year.
Hepatocellular carcinoma of the liver – this is cancer that occupies 8 place in the world for prevalence. When it occurs with a high probability of a fatal outcome for the patient. Prerequisites for the development of this type of cancer education are hepatitis b, and D of chronic viral hepatitis C, which cause cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver in 80% of cases is the reason for the development of carcinoma of the liver. There are other risk factors of cancer:
- primary cirrhosis of the liver;
- intake of oral contraceptives;
- the abuse of alcohol;
- genetic predisposition;
- the toxic effects;
- damage of liver cells and their subsequent degeneration;
- chronic liver disease;
- radiopaque substances;
- carcinogenic micro-toxins, in particular, the presence in food of aflatoxin.
Symptoms of liver cancer
Symptoms of hepatocellular carcinoma may vary depending on what the localization of education its size. Also of importance, the presence or absence of liver cirrhosis. Depending on the degree of development of the patient may be a feeling of pressure or pain in the right side. In addition, the patient begins to lose weight, while eating he feels satiation. The increase in size of the liver happens in the early stages of the disease.
Also in a patient with jaundice (hepatitis b) impaired patency of the bile ducts, there is hemobilia. The patient may experience bleeding in the digestive tract from the bile ducts. Also bleeding can occur due to the fact that education breaks.
The patient may develop ascites, what causes cirrhosis of the liver. He has diarrhea, pain occur in the bones. In some cases there is fever. During exercise, the patient may complain of shortness of breath, cough and chest pain.
In addition can occur as a symptoms and complications of hypercalcemia, hypoglycemia, hormonal imbalance, skin diseases.
A characteristic feature of hepatocellular carcinoma is the lack of metastasis. It happens in most cases.
Diagnosis of carcinoma of the liver
Diagnosis of the disease consists in examination of the patient, wherein it is possible to determine the symptoms of enlarged liver or cirrhosis. For a precise definition of conduct liver function tests and assign an overall analysis of the patient's blood. Also prescribe tests for the presence of hepatitis (analysis of the antigens).
For diagnosis of many forms of cancer analysis is used at the level of alpha-protein the level of which is enhanced in the body of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in most cases. In some cases, carried out histological examination.
In identifying small sites under survey do not always suspect the presence of malignancy, in some cases, recommend observation. Radionuclide study of the liver is a fairly effective method of survey. With the help of more than 80% of the cases accurate diagnosis of the disease.
Education in liver can be identifiedrandomly during the ultrasound examination of other organs or purposefully for suspected cancer. In addition ultrasound can be used computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the liver. Unfortunately, often carcinoma of the liver is detected at later stages, due to lack of clear symptoms at an early stage.
The treatment of the disease
To determine the treatment strategy of the disease is important to consider the diagnostic results. Also important, the functional status of the liver. Matters for primary liver disease, the stage of development of the tumor, its location, dimensions and character development. Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma is carried out taking into account the Early stage of the disease can be cured by the application of methods such as liver resection or radical removal followed by transplantation of a donor organ.
There are also localized treatment options for cancer of the liver, which should take into account the presence of micrometastases, the size, number and location of tumour formation. Is also important the involvement of the portal vein.
Methods have been developed that reduce blood flow to the tumor. Also, some methods aimed at the introduction of chemotherapy drugs directly into the tumor. In addition, can be applied radiation therapy, cryosurgery, radiofrequency therapy, etc. There are many innovative methods of treatment of carcinoma of the liver.
The prognosis of the disease
The prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in most unfavorable. Successful treatment of patients in almost all cases, it happens when it detects disease at an early stage. At an early stage of carcinoma patients can be cured after resection of liver or transplant it. Five-year survival of patients after liver resection of 40-50%.
In other cases, the prognosis is poor. Inoperable patients with metastases have an average survival of about 6-8 months. In the absence of therapy, the patient survival is approximately 4 months.