Symptoms of liver cancer. Whether it is dangerous?
If you can relate themselves to the risk group, that the slightest change of status must be the reason for a medical examination. In this case we are really talking about your life because the symptoms of liver cancer are nonspecific, and diagnosis at later stages, which leaves virtually no chance for a good recovery.
Liver cancer can be classified by origin:
- primary comes directly from liver cells,
- the secondary is a consequence of the proliferation in the organ of metastasis from another primary lesion. Recorded more often this kind is 20 times higher compared with the primary lesion. The liver is very susceptible to metastasis because of their functional characteristics.
By the way, malignant tumors of the liver are more common in men so, the primary diagnoses of the tumor in 90% of cases in men will turn out to be malignant, while the representatives of the other sex, the figure is only 40%.
Why liver cancer occurs
To date, the causes of liver cancer are determined:
- in 80% of patients with hepatomas has chronic hepatitis B. And the media men risk 200 times more than women
- liver cirrhosis in 60% to 90% leads to the development of hepatoma,
- elevated levels in the body compounds of iron (hemochromatosis),
- chronic liver disease gallstones, parasitic lesions,
- alcohol and Smoking,
- carcinogenic influence from the outside: industrial products (hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, biphenyls), organic pesticides based on chlorine, herbicides, arsenic, vinyl chloride,
- aflatoxins, amazing food,
- prolonged use of anabolic steroids
- the metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
As already mentioned, the first signs of liver cancer are nonspecific person for a long time (two to three months) pains in the abdomen, lack of appetite, weight loss. Half of the patients can determine enlargement of the liver or a tumor in that area.
The main symptoms of liver cancer are:
- fatigue, lethargy, weakness,
- the increase in size of the abdomen or bloating in the liver area,
- the increase in body temperature to subfebrile figures (usually this is due to the cancer intoxication),
- vomiting, nausea and diarrhea,
- pain in the lumbar region, the right upper quadrant or upper abdomen. First, they arise occasionally, only under load, and then formed into a constant feeling of moderate severity,
- flatulence, diarrhea and vomiting, leading to digestive problems and weight loss patient
- ascites with liver cancer are diagnosed at late stages in most patients.
If we talk about what are the signs of liver cancer are most pronounced at different stages of the disease, it is possible to obtain the following picture. For the initial stages characterized by fever, dull aching, dyspepsia and General malaise. The disease in 85% accompanied by a weight loss. At palpation the liver in half of the cases, you can define the tumor. Gradually growing signs of jaundice and liver failure. Here it is also possible disruption of the endocrine system. Symptoms of malignant neoplasms prevail in the case if the tumor develops on the background of liver cirrhosis in this case, it is quickly exacerbated pain, increasing jaundice, ascites appears, and frequent nosebleeds. Metastases are formed and they can occur both in the body and in nearby lymph nodes and other organs, including bones.
Diagnosis of liver cancer
You should know thatdiagnosis of liver cancer is quite a complicated process involving a variety of laboratory tests. The diagnosis can be expected on the basis of complaints, examination of the patient, palpation of the liver, basic clinical research: increased level of urobilin in urine and bilirubin in the blood.
Most reliable diagnosis is established by ultrasound. So, ultrasound for cancer of the liver available method of diagnosis, allowing to identify nodules in the liver and to determine their nature (malignant and benign).
There are other ways to determine liver cancer:
- sighting percutaneous liver puncture under ultrasound control. In this case, the morphological diagnosis can be established very accurately, as similar to cancer symptoms can be from many diseases
- nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography are also used in cases of dispute,
- external examination of the liver and collection of material for histological examination can be performed during laparoscopic examination,
- the number of fetoprotein in the blood (cancer patients this number increased in 80% of cases),
- fluoroscopy in the special conditions in the abdominal cavity enter the air (creating pneumoperitoneum). On the background of the gas detected by the knobby liver,
- for more data, you can use hepatography and radioisotope scanning.
Liver cancer treatment and prevention
Liver resection, i.e., surgical removal of the discovered nodes can be performed only if these nodes are isolated and small in size. Operability of the tumor is determined after opening of the abdominal cavity. In the majority of cases diagnosed at a late stage the disease is subject to only symptomatic treatment.
Treatment metstaticescoe lesions is also possible surgically, but only in the absence of growths in the body. The effectiveness of chemotherapy, administered intravenously, in this case is minimal. Unfortunately, liver cancer is characterized by fierce for after the surgery the patient can live about 3-5 years, and inoperable tumors will lead to death within a few months.
If the cancer of the liver occurs as a result of cancer in another organ, it is diagnosed the fourth degree of damage, and patients assigned to symptomatic treatment.
Preventing liver cancer through simple manipulations:
- vaccination against hepatitis b,
- moderate consumption of alcohol,
- compliance with safety (especially chemical)
- not to use without medical indications iron supplements and anabolic steroids.